NetEase and Kabam join Blizzard’s star-studded global Overwatch League
The ESPN report earlier this week suggesting that Blizzard has several agreements from big-name sports-affiliated venture capitalists to host Overwatch League teams across the US and East Asia has now been confirmed and embellished by Blizzard itself, with the addition of NetEase, Kabam, and Misfits Gaming. Here’s the whole list:
Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
Kevin Chou, Co-founder of Kabam (Seoul)
We’ve previously reported on the structure of the League and its $20M ante.
The league will create value for team owners through advertising, ticketing and broadcast rights revenues, with teams receiving an equal share of all league-wide net revenues. Teams will also keep all local revenues generated through their home territory and venue up to a set amount each year, unprecedented in esports; above the set amount, a percentage is sent to the league’s shared revenue pool. In addition, teams will have a license to operate and monetize up to five amateur events in their home territory each year, and to benefit from the sale of league-affiliated fan items in Overwatch, with 50% of the revenues going into the net shared revenue pool for all teams.
The Overwatch League will also provide advertisers and sponsors with opportunities that are unparalleled in the esports space, with global fan bases not found in traditional sports, along with better targeting and analytics than traditional forms of advertising. Last year, 285 million people worldwide watched esports. The quickly-growing esports audience also includes some of the hardest to reach and most sought after demographics, with a share of millennials two to three times higher than any of the ‘Big Four’ US sports.
In other Overwatch news today,
- A Brazilian player successfully registered a National Church of Hanzo in an attempt to demonstrate the absurdity and exploitability of the well-meaning system. Also to pick on Hanzo mains.
- Dataminers have dug up references to new summer games content, likely coming in August.
- Update 2.15 hit the console versions of the game. Don’t get too excited; it’s just bugfixes, not Doomfist.
- Would you go for an Overwatch Netflix series? We would too! Alas, this trailer for one is just a mockup, not a thing that is really happening.