Blizzard have reportedly secured six potential teams for the Overwatch League

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ESPN has unveiled six potential investors in Blizzard’s Overwatch League which includes New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, under their holding company Sterling Equities. These two reported investors among six who Blizzard has all but secured for their upcoming Overwatch League.

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Fred Wilpon (left) and Robert Kraft (right).

Blizzard is making moves towards their goal of including non-endemic interest and investment into their famed Overwatch League, while the endemic industry seems to be falling apart with notable organisations dropping their Overwatch teams. Just last week both Evil Geniuses and Team LDLC removed Overwatch from their rosters citing “uncertainty” in Blizzard’s plans and communication around the League. There are still a few endemic organisations involved, including NRG Esports and Immortals who will control the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas respectively. Two other areas are Shanghai and Seoul, but the teams or owners have not been announced yet.

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Overwatch, since its introduction to esports last year, has seen some stagnation in a number of areas. Viewership for competitions is down, teams are fleeing the competitive circuit, and overall competitions are slowing down too. This is almost a direct result of the competitive communities uncertainty, but on a casual basis, Overwatch is still one of the more dominating games. However, we can’t really blame Blizzard for seeking non-endemic interest in NFL, NBA and other organisations after these sporting teams have slowly integrated esports into their own businesses. A number of large sporting organisations have bought controlling interest in esports teams and let’s not forget that some of these franchises have paid a rumoured amount of $20 million for a spot in the Overwatch League.

Read  Esports is “Part of our core thinking in creating games” says Nintendo President

The League is set to kick off in 2018, but the six remaining months of the year are going to be a telling time for Blizzard as their competitive ecosystem continues to struggle.

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Last Updated: July 10, 2017

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit’s esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere – but my work here is independent of that.

  • Maybe Blizzard are just not interested in dealing with MGO’s and would rather proven sports organisations take eSports into the future?

    • Skyblue

      Exactly what I was thinking while reading the article. Unfortunately, it probably will take some massive backing by companies that can afford to throw money at “This is what kids are watching now?” dinosaurs being told to get on the bus now that the market has been established. ESPN isn’t a joke and if you consider that it took the UFC over 2 decades to get their FOX SPORTS 1 deal it says a lot that these major franchise owners are looking at snapping up there own.

      Personally, I’m just happy to get to watch a few ex-Overwatch and UT players trying their hand at Quake Champions. At 40-something I’m still an avid follower of the game and think Duel Mode would be the easiest to follow and educate new viewers because watching 2 players go at it versus following 10 players is a very different proposition, but then again, what do I know?

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