Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Robert Kraft compares eSports venture to purchase of New England Revolution

Robert Kraft compares eSports venture to purchase of New England Revolution

The seven sold teams so far will be based in Boston, New York, Miami-Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai and Seoul. "Fantasy has obviously proven to be something that fans love in traditional sports and are a great driver of engagement". Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also provided details as to what the League is about and what gamers can expect from it. For now, Blizzard plans to keep the first season of Overwatch League centered in the U.S., with all matches taking place in an eSports arena in Los Angeles. The "Overwatch League" is expected to kick off before the end of the year. The Patriots and Revolution owner is now a charter member of the new "Overwatch League", purchasing a franchise for $20 million. For comparison's sake, a team signup for US Major League Soccer costs around $200 million. "We're building this league for fans-esports fans, traditional sports fans, gaming fans-and we're thrilled to have individuals and organizations who are as passionate about professional competition as we are, and who have extensive experience in all three fields, representing our first major worldwide cities in the league". The net shared revenue for all teams is 50% of revenues earned from the amateur events.

New (KOSDAQ: 160550.KQ - news) team owners will be recruiting players and getting rosters formed in coming months.

"We thought it was incredibly important to build a league where our owners and our players share in the value of the league", Nanzer said.

Advertisers aiming to reach real-world baseball fans have been expressing interest in ways to connect with online viewers, according to Wilpon.

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"We looked at cities with big markets not just in terms of population but concentration of Overwatch players", Nanzer told TheStreet on Wednesday.

"And, there are advertisers in eSports wanting to go mainstream to local networks, so there are some cross-pieces we see that are very exciting". Meanwhile, Overwatch has around 14.6 million monthly active users, and around $29 million in monthly revenue - only a fraction of what League of Legends does. Thankfully, due to the nature of eSports, this won't affect how many people can watch the match.

A strong focus of the Overwatch League is to provide competitive gamers with the kind of status typically given to professional athletes in traditional sports.

The league also announced it will distribute global revenue from advertising, ticketing and broadcast rights to the teams equally.

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