In March, Overwatch League executives will return to the road.
A year after they began their initial roadshow that convinced 12 teams across
the U.S., Europe and Asia to pay $20 million each to join the league for its
inaugural season, the league now will search for expansion teams. The biggest
difference this time: The execs have a proven product to sell, and that means
more interested buyers.
Throughout 2017, the Overwatch League had more naysayers than those
interested, with many of the former citing its lack of proof of concept and a
game without a rich esports history. The steep price, the chance of low
viewership and, as a result, the potential for little to no revenue drove
some of the most wealthy and famous buyers in the esports industry away. It
was impressive that the league recruited 12 in the first place.
In the past three months, though, the Overwatch League has exceeded its
revenue expectations, and several league sources said that the league is at
almost four times its original projection. The league got a reported $90
million, two-year Twitch deal, and its two-year deals with HP Omen and Intel
are worth $17 million and $10 million, respectively, sources said. That
doesn't even include its sponsors since its launch, which include the likes
of T-Mobile, Toyota and Sour Patch Kids, and those its teams have sold for
jersey patches and placements.
這還沒算上T-mobile、Toyota，Sour Patch Kids等贊助商，還有隊衣補丁廣告的收益
The teams that put a collective $240 million on the table in franchise fees
to become Overwatch League owners might have their faith rewarded ahead of
schedule. The Overwatch League is en route to making big returns, too.
Its next challenge lies in incentivizing international buyers. Of its 12
teams, only one, the Shanghai Dragons, is owned by a foreign corporation. Its
other two teams abroad, the Seoul Dynasty and the London Spitfire, are both
owned by American-based organizations. While the league has said that it
hopes to target expansion in the European and Asian markets, recruiting
buyers there is much more difficult than domestically.
The Overwatch League will get more buyers in North America. It had a 13th
team right before the Season 1 deadline that it did not close in on Wesley
Edens, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and esports team FlyQuest, league
sources said. Edens is expected to be back at the negotiating table for 2019,
sources said. But if it can get another in mainland Europe