Last year Blizzard announced their new Overwatch League, which at the time seem to target organisations outside of the competitive gaming world. At that time a number of big competitive multi-gaming organizations had started picking up Overwatch teams noting the booming esport, but in this last week four of those MGOs have dropped their Overwatch rosters citing insecurity in Blizzard’s upcoming league and the costs which might ensue.
We touched on these costs back in March when Blizzard revealed the costs for joining the league:
“Initially, multiple sources said, top Activision Blizzard executives hoped to solicit multiple bids in key markets, and believed a franchise could sell for $2 million to $5 million in smaller markets and three times that in Los Angeles, a focal point of esports activity. Nanzer declined to address the cost or process for awarding franchises.”
It all began with Denial Esports last Tuesday when they kicked their Overwatch team, shortly followed by Red Reserve who said goodbye to their roster on the 5th of May. The most surprising departure from competitive Overwatch had to have been Team SoloMid who are one of the biggest organisations in the world who said goodbye to their Overwatch team. The latest team to bid farewell was Complexity who yesterday offered the following statement:
“Anticipation of Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch League and an uptick in mainstream esports attention means that now more than ever, we have to be confident we’re making the best investments in each game,” they wrote. “The decision to part ways with long-term members of our organization is never one that we take lightly, but ongoing roster instability has resulted in inconsistent performances in an already narrow field of events.”
The spots for the Overwatch League are already being purchased with reports of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross purchasing spots for, it’s assumed, millions of dollars. It’s hard for MGOs to compete with organisations like Football franchises which is why it’s no surprise that they are releasing their players into an environment which is possibly ripe for the picking. These exiled players will most likely find a home in other organizations, perhaps even the Miami Dolphins or Patriots. I don’t think it’s cause of concern, yet, but this could be the slow demise of independent organisations who are now being left in the shadows of major corporations entering esports.
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Last Updated: May 10, 2017