Overwatch League: Speculation and Facts
Blizzard finally spoke up about the Overwatch League's progress officially.
During the unveil of the Overwatch League last November, it seemed as if Blizzard’s intents were to provide a consistent and centralized base for the competitive side of the community, albeit one with a very costly expense for prospective teams. Likewise, relating this to the MLB or NHL could be more concurrent to current esports teams. Along with this announcement has come a sense of controversy for the price of the franchises, plans, and overall setup.
Currently, esports teams such as CompLexity Gaming and Team SoloMid have stepped away from the Overwatch scene and claimed the league as the reason for their departure. Meanwhile, reports have flooded in earlier this week saying that the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins have already signed million-dollar deals with the League and that Activision CEO Robert "Bobby" Kotickhas has had a personal impact on these deals. As seen from this quote: "Bobby has been really busy on this one making personal house calls and constantly talking up the league. He spends about half of his working hours on this project alone and has been happy to finally land some big names for the league," which was provided via an unknown source to Richard Lewis.
Blizzard provided a statement upon these terms as seen below:
First, we want to be clear that our ultimate goal is to create an exciting Overwatch esports ecosystem, the pinnacle of which will be the Overwatch League, that's accessible to a wide audience, sustainable, and rewarding for everyone involved. We're doing our best to take great care with building this ecosystem, and as with much of what we do, we don't release information until we're at a place where it makes sense to do so.
Second, we'd like to dispel any rumors that we're ignoring endemics. Anyone who knows Blizzard understands how deeply we care about the communities around our games. The league is built upon the best elements of endemic esports programs and traditional sports, and we’re in active discussions with many teams and owners from both worlds because it will take a village to stand up a league with such an unprecedented structure. Those conversations have been going well and there’s a lot of excitement around our ambitious plans.
Finally, it's important to think twice about statements from unnamed sources, who may try to leverage the media to deliberately spread misinformation as bargaining tactics or for other competitive reasons. We look forward to officially sharing real details about the league and the ecosystem as a whole as we continue the development process. In the meantime, we are staying focused on our goal of creating an awesome Overwatch esports experience for players, partners, and fans, and we want to thank everyone for their continued support.”
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