New e-sports league set for launch in Asia and America

18.07.2017 Digital : Gaming : Technology
Overwatch League by Blizzard Entertainment

Global – Due to start later this year, the Overwatch League will mimic the structure of traditional sporting leagues.

With teams already announced in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai, matches in the first season will be played every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at an e-sports arena in Los Angeles before expanding to venues around the world to create a formal home and away set-up.

‘We are building this league for fans – e-sports fans, traditional sports fans and gaming fans – and we’re thrilled to have individuals and organisations who are as passionate about professional competition as we are,’ says Bobby Kotick, CEO of video games company Activision Blizzard.

The game, Overwatch, is part of Blizzard Entertainment's portfolio of games including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm, and has already connected more than 30m players. In an unprecedented move, teams participating in the league will be allowed to keep all venue revenue up to a set amount, making it a lucrative prospect for players and investors.

The Big Picture

  • Gaming is no longer a niche past-time associated with the socially reclusive, but a rapidly growing and extremely lucrative sector. For more, see our Insight report
  • LS:N Global has tracked this move into the mainstream arena since 2016, noting the growing potential for advertisers in this virtual space. For more, see our Video Games Market report