Blizzard Entertainment has sold six Overwatch League spots to investors who have the “intent to participate” in the upcoming event. Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, and Fred Wilpon, the owner of New York Mets, are among the six Overwatch team owners. That is what an undisclosed source, close to the involved parties, told ESPN.
The source elaborates that the League teams will be located in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, South Korea, and Seoul.
Immortals will be based in Los Angeles, and the NRG Esports will be located in San Francisco. The buy-in price is $20 million per spot. Kraft Sports Group gets the Boston spot. Wilpon will obtain the New York spot. At the time of writing, the buy-in prices for the non-American groups and the Kraft and Wilpon groups are not specified.
The agreements reflect Blizzard’s determination to make the League a major e-sports event. The developer is expected to continue attracting suitors prior to League’s launch.
Securing prominent partnership agreements was a challenging task, though. Rumor has it that several investment organizations had interest in joining the Overwatch League, but they put off by Blizzard’s financial requirements. Anonymous sources claim that Blizzard seeks a $20 million buy-in price. The other clauses are a 25% fee if the owner sells the spot at a later date, and no revenue sharing until 2021.
Overwatch was launched in 2016 and over a relatively short time, it has secured itself a spot among the most popular first person shooters. Various statistics show that Overwatch currently has more than 30 million players worldwide.
Apart from the ambitious Overwatch League project, the game also has independently operated e-sports leagues including the South Korea’s APEX and the Chinese Overwatch Premier League.
The North American and European Contenders series took place at the beginning of the month. As for the Overwatch League, it will launch in Q3 of 2017.