Overwatch League As The Blueprint Of Esports
Posted 30th September 2018 By: Derpina    319 Views
Esports News – Blizzard handed out the 12 original regions of the Overwatch League for $20 million each. The expansion teams and regions for the second season now range from $30 million to $60 million each, and some of the owners are well-known athletes, businessmen, and celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Kraft, and the Kroenke family. This gradual rise in price and popularity of the league only means that the inaugural season was a success and we can now consider it as the blueprint of professional esports. But how did it happen? Is it because of the tournament structure, live streaming services, and wide demographics?
The Overwatch League is the only a professional esports tournament with the same structure as traditional sports. It follows the sequence of a six-month regular season, playoffs, all-star game, and off-season. Instead of direct invites and qualifiers, there are player contracts, player trades, free agents signings, and sponsorship. Additionally, the tournament focuses on a city-based structure where the Overwatch teams can play in their respective cities. This introduces creative ways for the teams, owners, and sponsors to attract new fans through localized marketing and merchandising.
It’s worth noting that the Overwatch League matches are televised around the world. Major League Gaming airs the matches with the same presentation style for traditional sports on TV. Earlier this year, Blizzard acquired deals for media rights with Disney, House of Mouse (including ABC and ESPN), Amazon.com’s Twitch, and Twitter to stream live matches and other engaging content.
The online streaming services contributed a lot to the league’s revenue as regular esports viewers will likely stick to Twitch viewership. In fact, a survey from commentator Paul Chaloner revealed that 63% of the fans prefers online streaming than television.
The esports industry is growing fast. A market research by Newzoo estimated that the industry’s revenue will reach $1.4 billion by 2020. This is a big factor contributing to the number of players and viewers the Overwatch League is attracting. Approximately 23 percent of Overwatch viewers are between the ages of 25 and 34, with the largest group falling within the 18-24 age bracket. These numbers are consistent with the general gaming population where Millennials are also the majority. It’s no surprise that the Millennials are the main target of most businesses and industries today.