Activision Blizzard is looking to increase the revenue of Overwatch League teams! The news first surfaced in a report by The Esports Observer, citing Activision Blizzard as finding teams “better sponsor exposure and more inventory to sell.”
Alright then: how will this affect the state of the league?
OWL sharing profits
First off, the Overwatch League has been killing it on the partnership front. The competition had a strong start, attracting over $200 million in sponsorships during its first season and signing deals with major brands like T-Mobile, Toyota, Intel, Coca Cola, Bud Light, and Omen by HP.
The same can’t be said about Overwatch League teams, though. Despite their league partners, many lineups had a hard time getting anything going in terms of business deals.
Activision Blizzard now seeks to fix this. While exact methods aren’t clear, The Esports Observer’s sources claim the OWL production staff will make a greater effort to highlight teams’ sponsorships during its broadcast. Moreover, the Overwatch League is considering sharing revenue from one of its sponsorship categories in 2020. Still, it’s yet to be determined which category it will be.
Read also: Overwatch World Cup 2019 preview
The next year will be a critical one for competitive Overwatch. After holding games in California for the better part of its first two seasons, the league is switching to a home/away model.
This news doesn’t come out of the blue. The league has always been operating with the goal of hosting games all over the United States. Now, the first few test runs have certainly shown a lot of promise. However, there are no guarantees that such a model can be successful in esports in the long run.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows on the day-to-day side of things either. Esports journalists and personalities like Richard Lewis and Duncan “Thorin” Shields have been criticizing the league for its declining viewership and lacking spectator experience.
If Activision Blizzard wants to put these doubts to rest, sharing the revenue streams and strengthening its partners is one of the best moves it could make.