Overwatch League aims to turn eSports into the next NFL

Overwatch League

Overwatch League

The new teams will be based in Boston, New York, Miami-Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai and Seoul.

Nanzer said the seven teams are only the beginning, however, and that the league is in "active discussions" with several other interested parties. In April this year Blizzard announced it had hit 30 million registered players - jumping up from 20 million in January 2017. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also provided details as to what the League is about and what gamers can expect from it. Regular season matches will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at an esports arena in Los Angeles while teams develop local venues for home and away fixtures in future seasons. As such, research firm SuperData has put out an infographic showing the differences between the North American League of Legends Championship Series and the Overwatch League. The new franchise owners include leaders from China, South Korea and the United States already invested in eSports as well as newcomers to the almost $700-million industry, Kraft Group LLC CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon. It's a model that apes the biggest sports in the world and really seems like a no-brainer.

"I think this is the next evolution of sports, and we want to be part of it", Wilpon of the Mets baseball team told AFP. However, the Overwatch League also features licenses for teams to run five amateur events in their geolocated home cities - perhaps the biggest difference between the leagues.

"And, there are advertisers in eSports wanting to go mainstream to local networks, so there are some cross-pieces we see that are very exciting".

Wednesday's news comes after at least six professional eSports organizations disbanded their Overwatch roster, citing concerns over decreasing viewership, few opportunities to compete and a lack of news about the league, Slingshot reported. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people watch eSports.

Assuming Activision sells the remaining teams for the same price, it implies $560 million in revenue just from selling teams, O'Shea said.

Overwatch is doing great things for eSports, and with the Overwatch League, it helps to legitimize the competitive form to millions.

"Overwatch" was designed for eSports experiences, building in features such as global settings and characters representing a wide range of demographics, according the chief executive.

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