Seven Cities Confirmed For Overwatch League’s First Season, Starting This Year
It’s finally announced. Blizzard has finally broke the silence on what are the teams that will be taking part in the first season of Overwatch League, their ambitious take on a top flight esports league that operates more similar to a traditional sports league. This first announcement reveals seven teams, calling seven different cities across the world as their home ground.
The team owners are:
- Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the NFL team New England Patriots (Boston)
- Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the MLB team New York Mets (New York)
- Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
- Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
- Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
- NetEase (Shanghai)
- Kevin Chou, Co-founder of Kabam (Seoul)
The initial reports by ESPN Esports were on accurate though it missed on a few more details of the initial announcement. Misfits, which now co-operates with the NBA team Miami Heat, was missing from the list and now we know the owners of the teams in Shanghai and Seoul- internet company NetEase and the owner of mobile game developers Kabam.
No European team is included in the first wave of announcement, though more teams are still in active negotiations.
The announcement also reveals how Blizzard will share the profits of the Overwatch League among the franchises. All teams will receive equal share of net revenue from advertising, ticketing and broadcast right deals. Teams can also keep a set portion of their local revenue (once a home arena is set) with the rest going back to the league. Like League Of Legends, teams will also be getting some revenue, in this case 50% of sales, from team-specific in-game items.
This explains the high price of to buy a spot in Overwatch League, reported to be as high as $20 million USD. The potential for big income, should the Overwatch League succeed, is pretty high.
The first season of Overwatch League is still scheduled to start later this year, with all matches to be played at an esports arena in Los Angeles for the whole season. The plan is to have all the teams develop their own venues so there will be proper home and away matches, like traditional sports. Matches will be played each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a full schedule to be shared soon.