Activision sold seven Overwatch League teams to seven entrepreneurs and leaders from traditional sports and esports. The Overwatch League is slated to launch later this year. The schedule will be announced closer to the release date.
Activision Blizzard announced the sale of the first Overwatch League teams for major global cities to seven entrepreneurs and leaders from traditional sports and esports.
New team owners include:
- 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)
- NetEase (Shanghai)
- Kevin Chou, Co-founder of Kabam (Seoul)
Here's what they had to say about the sale. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said: "We’re excited to be working with leaders from esports and traditional sports to celebrate our players and to establish the Overwatch League."
"Overwatch is a game about a diverse group of international heroes who fight for an optimistic vision of the future, and the Overwatch League is an extension of that spirit," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment.
One of the new team owners, Robert Kraft, had this to say: "We have been exploring the esports market for a number of years and have been waiting for the right opportunity to enter". He added that the choice was simple, considering the global success of Overwatch.
The Overwatch League is slated to launch later this year. As the first major esports league to feature a city-based structure, the league will drive the development of local fan bases. For the first season of the league, regular-season matches will be played at an esports arena in the Los Angeles area, as teams develop their local venues for formal home and away play in future seasons.
Matches will be played each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales will be announced closer to launch.
If you were wondering why the men in suits made the decision to buy the teams, here you go: 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. Above that set amount, a percentage will be 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.