Blizzard Reportedly Looking to Sell Overwatch League Slots for Up to $15 Million
Blizzard is allegedly looking to charge eSports teams anywhere from $2 million to $15 million USD for spots in their Overwatch League, according to a report from Sports Business Journal’s Ben Fischer.
That’s a pretty gnarly price estimate but, according to “multiple sources” that Fischer spoke with, Blizzard plans to gather several bids from interested teams with the assumption that slots from different regions could go for different price points. For example, a slot in Los Angeles, the United States’ epicenter of eSports activity, is expected to sell for as much as $15 million USD. Meanwhile, a spot from a lesser region, such as Atlanta, will presumably go for $2 – $5 million.
The bids will reportedly be handled in a road show format, where potential buyers would receive information about purchasing their spot in the Overwatch League, according to a quote taken from Blizzard’s Global Director of Overwatch Esports.
The Overwatch League was announced at BlizzCon in December, but little information has been released since then. We currently know that the league plans to emulate traditional sports in the sense that they wish to build a city-based system, a structure that was previously unprecedented for competitive gaming. Teams will represent major cities from a number of regions to support local fanbases and generate revenue locally, something that already began to occur as NRG Esports were contacted by city mayors and sports teams about having their Overwatch team in their cities.
We also know that the Overwatch League will start as a “short season” in Q3 this year, with something more consistent and structurally sound beginning in 2018.
Unfortunately, that’s about all anyone knows about the league. This can pose a problem for Blizzard, as it would be rather difficult to secure committed sponsors to dish out that much dough for something they don’t have the full details on. It also puts an enormous strain on tournament organizers as, similarly to how Riot Games handles League of Legends, Blizzard could very well make the Overwatch League the only officially licensed tournament for Overwatch; this could pose a serious threat for organizers, who have to plan their tournaments several months in advance with a potential hanging sword over their heads.
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai