These arrangements will help ensure that teams have the resources to establish and grow their local Overwatch communities for years to come. This is following a trend that started previous year of major sports teams getting into esports, notably the Philadelphia 76ers.
A team representing Florida's Miami-Orlando region owned by Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits Gaming, a pro video game organization partially owned by the Miami Heat NBA team. Seven teams. We're no experts in esports, or sports in general to be honest, but don't you typically need more than seven teams to make a competitive, watchable league?
San Francisco, with owner Andy Miller. We asked Blizzard if this would be a conflict of interest going forward for the league, and we'll update this story if the respond. The primary difference here is that Overwatch League teams will compete internationally-the first seven cities are in the USA and Asia, but other teams are expected to be announced before the league kicks off.
We pressed Nazer on whether the comparison he drew with the Fifa World Cup might mean the Overwatch equivalent would no longer be an annual event.
"The Overwatch League will celebrate and reward our most accomplished players and give fans more opportunities to engage with each other", said Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick.
Above KSV eSports International
Blizzard also revealed the value proposition for teams involved in the league for the first time in their release. While this isn't the first time that a major sports executive has dived into E-sports (former National Basketball Association player Rick Fox acquiring the League of Legends team "Echo Fox" comes to mind), Kraft signing on so early shows a significant level of confidence in both the upcoming Overwatch scene and the E-sports industry as a whole.
But Blizzard will have challenges making Overwatch esports succeed.
You read that right, Overwatch is officially bursting into the E-sports scene. There are also plans to announce more teams and owners before the start of the first season later this year. An Overwatch League spokesman declined to disclose prices. Rounding out the first batch of Overwatch League teams and cities are a Shanghai team owned by Blizzard's Chinese partner NetEase, and a Seoul team owned by Kevin Chou (the co-founder of Kabam).
Who are the teams in the Overwatch League?
These in-game items are Overwatch League team branded items. Teams will also keep all local revenues generated through their home territory and venue up to a set amount each year. After they reach that set amount, that money goes to the league's shared revenue pool.
Activision Blizzard would not say how much a team franchise costs.style="text-align: center;"