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The Overwatch League has begun its full assault into the esports world with their announcements today. First 3 teams have been finalized for the Inaugural Season One which will take place in Los Angeles. Now the start dates have been announced. It looks like Blizzard will host the season from January 10th all the way through June with a summer playoffs and finals coming in July. This solid six month season gives the opportunity for many games and matches between the initial twelve teams. Here is our speculation on how the season might break down.
Here is the press release outlining all the information on the Overwatch League update. With three teams added in for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia it is great to see that preseason will begin at the end of the year. December 6th begins the matches in Los Angeles. Read below as we continue to bring you as much coverage as we can on all these announcements.
September 20, 2017—The stage is now set for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League™. Teams for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia have signed on, bringing the total for the first season to the targeted 12 franchises representing major cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. The new team owners announced today are:
Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), leader in sports and entertainment and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers
Team Envy (Dallas), veteran esports organization with experience across multiple genres
OpTic Gaming (Houston), established esports organization known for its passionate global fan base
Is Disney primed to be a major player in the Overwatch League? Our guess is absolutely! Disney XD is a channel geared to a younger hardcore audience. This weekend they began broadcasting reruns of the Overwatch World Cup series with their first episode of Shanghai. So we’re going to build out a landscape for you in terms of why a Disney and Blizzard partnership makes sense and how we are seeing the early stages of it already. Did we mention Disney owns ESPN?
One of the big questions about Overwatch as an esport has always been how best to view the game. This year, reports show that a Spectator Mode may be released at this year’s BlizzCon. From the start of the World Cup and as more leagues like Contenders and APEX grow quickly, all the viewers will eventually feed into the Overwatch League. The hardcore audience is used to viewing in first person mode, but what about the rest of the world?
In yesterday’s High Noon broadcast on Youtube, the team was talking to Matt “coolmatt69” Iorio he mentioned some teams that had been scouting him for Overwatch League. The most important part of this discussion is that teams are still doing tryouts and offers have been made by unannounced teams! Matt plays on the World Cup Team and is featured as one of the top players in the U.S. The World Cup is planned for BlizzCon in November. Most likely we expect to hear major announcements at the show which may feature full teams being revealed. The player signing window continues to remain open for the next several weeks.
Blizzard announced today that they are setting up a live event arena in Los Angeles. This will be where season one of the Overwatch League is taking place. You can read the details here:
IRVINE, Calif.—September 7, 2017—World-class esports have a new home in the entertainment capital of the world. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition. Situated in the legendary Burbank Studios, once home to groundbreaking television shows, the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles has been custom-tailored to support an exciting live-event experience for local attendees and broadcast audiences around the world. When the Arena opens for business on October 7, top competitors from across Blizzard esports will be the newest stars to shine on one of the most celebrated stages in television history.
This past week we sat down with the Immortals CEO Noah Winston to talk about the Los Angeles spot in the Overwatch League. Noah had some fantastic answers and we are very excited to see this team grow in L.A. Here is the interview:
Overwatchscore.com – Con you give us a break down on how the League is shaping up right now. We’re seeing how things are branching out for the league overall, the gap between investors and endemic teams playing out. How do you see things moving forward?
Noah Whinston – I think that as more and more teams have joined Overwatch League, Blizzard has announced more and more plans not just for the league itself but for the future of game. I think a lot of the people who started off pessimistic are now seeing evidence that their initial pessimism was a bit overblown. At least from our perspective as one of the early movers to enter Overwatch League we do hear about some of this stuff before it goes public. In some ways that validates the faith that we put into Blizzard and Activision to kind of put together a strong league not just from a structure perspective but from an ownership perspective. Also, the ability to listen to the community about the features they feel are most important to be changed and updated to create a better play and viewing experience which they are doing. These changes are never going to happen overnight, sometimes it takes concerted effort to get them done as is with any significant changes to league structure or to game structure, but so far from my perspective the changes over the last few weeks have been positive.
In an article over at ESPN, Blizzard confirmed that Overwatch League teams will have to create their own brands. So you will not see Cloud9 or Immortals on the ticket.
Here is an excerpt from the article that explains the approach:
“The Overwatch League is an entirely new endeavor in esports, combining a brand-new IP with a city-based team structure and other components that strongly distinguish it from other initiatives and programs in competitive gaming,” Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer said. “Our team owners are all as enthusiastic as we are about starting with a clean slate and developing branding that is built from the ground up to reflect and enhance the innovations of the League as a whole.”
In a recent interview published by Blitz Esports. Commissioner Nate Nanzer sat down to talk about the philosophy behind the league and building out the ecosystem. The interview ran from the World Cup Series in Santa Monica this past weekend.