Here’s some big news about the Overwatch League. Sources told ESPN that Blizzard has reached deals with six entities to participate in the not-yet-launched professional gaming league dedicated to Blizzard’s popular shooter. Among those are reportedly New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the group that operates the New York Mets.
According to ESPN, Blizzard has come to terms for teams to be located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Shanghai, and Seoul. These would be for franchises, presumably, and the buy-in for the San Francisco-based NRG Esports team is reportedly $20 million. This fee would be paid over time, the sources added. NRG would appear to have deep pockets, as the team was founded by Sacramento Kings co-owners Andrew Miller and Mark Mastrov, with further investment from Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jimmy Rollins.
The pricing for Kraft’s group and Sterling Equities, which operates the Mets, have not been announced.
The New York team is owned by Sterling VC, while the other to American squads are to be run by “sports team owners and business moguls within the last two years.” The team Immortals will be located in Los Angeles, and the aforementioned NRG will be set up in San Francisco.
As of now, all of this is unconfirmed, and comments from the parties in question have not come in. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
A report from Richard Lewis has further details on the Overwatch League, and it’s not all positive. A source told him that one “sizeable sponsor” has dropped out to the reported fee being too expensive. The source said Blizzard informed them that the Overwatch League would be “bigger than the NFL,” explaining the higher price point.
Announced in November 2016, the Overwatch League is scheduled to kick off this year. “The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players,” Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said. “We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved.”
In May, a report claimed that the Overwatch League was struggling to find franchises, a problem that, if it ever existed, appears to have been addressed.