The beginnings of The Overwatch League are among us. This eSport favorite (even in universities) is in the midst of creating a worldwide roster of teams to compete against each other like the NHL or NBA. Speaking of the major sports leagues, several influential figures from those areas have taken up the mantle to house an Activision Blizzard team in specific cities. Even more, leaders within the eSports field have also formed teams showing the even further blurring lines between physical games and electronic games.
The cities that will be getting representation in the Overwatch League (along with their founders) are:
- Boston – Robert Kraft
- New York – Jeff Wilpon
- Los Angeles – Noah Whinston
- Miami-Orlando – Ben Spoont
- San Francisco – Andy Miller
- Shanghai – NetEase
- Seoul – Kevin Chou
Those familiar with team owners and sports dynasties might recognize Kraft as the CEO of the New England Patriots and Wilpon as the COO of the New York Mets. On the opposite end of the spectrum lays Kevin Chou, who has created a mobile gaming legacy with tons of hit freemium games from his company, Kabam. Hopefully this mix of minds from two different yet similar fields will put together hours of entertainment.
The Overwatch League does not yet have a launch date but the press release states that it will become active Fall of this year. This will be the first ‘major esports league to feature a city-based structure’ and ‘will drive development of local fan bases’. Matches are to happen on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with ticket prices and the full schedule to be announced at a later date.
And even though this is a global league, all games for the first season will take place in an ‘eSports arena’ in Los Angeles. Later years will see teams traveling to other cities and defending their honor at home in order to grow their local fan bases. And hopefully, the worldwide aspect of The Overwatch League will grow further to include areas outside of the US and East Asia.
But at this point, that might be jumping the proverbial and virtual gun a bit too much. We’ll just have to see how this first season plays out. And more importantly, will Doomfist be allowed in? Inquiring minds and all that.