The highly anticipated Overwatch League kicks off this week but the size of the investment makes it more of a gamble for Blizzard. However, if things go as expected, the league will set new standards for the Esports industry and become a benchmark for all other electronic games. On the other hand, if it flops, Esports may be viewed as a not so worthwhile venture and skeptics are already waiting to pull the “I told you so” card.
Since it was announced back in 2016 at Blizzcon, Blizzard has been pushing the Overwatch League quite hard in order to make it similar or even better than traditional sports franchises. Within the same period, the league has gained a strong following who are looking forward to the competitions. It is not just the competitive Overwatch community that cannot wait to see how the games play out – a number of Blizzard’s investors and sponsors are banking on its success and they stand to gain a lot when the Overwatch league gets to a point where it can be likened to the NFL Esports.
The Overwatch League will run for seven months with 12 professional Esports teams battling it out to pocket a piece of the $3.5 million in the prize pool. All the matches will be streamed live from the impressively high-tech Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles.
Blizzard has some very ambitious plans for taking the Overwatch League and Esports as whole mainstream even though it is particularly younger than some other established Esports like DotA 2 and CS:GO. Already Blizzard has brought the League onto the menus of its $35 million strong online player base in order to popularize the Esport. While this may seem like a power player by the company, placing the Overwatch league front and center in-game will go a long way in blurring the line between the die-hard competitive gaming and casual or hobbyist gaming.
Esports Betting and Gambling
This applies to nearly all Esports franchises that have gained a lot of traction in the past few years because of the growing number of spectators. Numerous betting sites that allow Esports fans to bet on the games the same way they do for soccer, hockey and many other traditional games have popped up. The number keeps growing and considering how huge the Overwatch league might be, it will not come as a surprise that a few wagering offerings come into play within the period that the league is supposed to run. There is a lot of enticing opportunities in this especially considering the huge amounts of money that are on the line in top Esports tournaments.