The Overwatch League is eSports' Ticket to the Mainstream

13 January, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Grady King
  • Twitch signs exclusive broadcast deal for Blizzard’s Overwatch League for a reported $90m

The other day, we reported the news that Twitch has paired up with Blizzard to become the exclusive broadcast partner for the forthcoming Overwatch League, which kicks off with its first match later today.

Along with competing for their share of a $3.5-million prize pool, each player who has a spot on any of the team's rosters is guaranteed a minimum $50,000 salary, health benefits and a retirement plan. Though he hasn't responded, we can assume that, since Ravager is a Twitch mod, these numbers only represent Twitch viewership thus leaving out the viewers from other streaming locations such as the official Overwatch League Website.

League skins can only be purchased with League Tokens, a new currency being introduced to the game.

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A further component of this deal will give viewers exclusive access to in-game items. But for a first-round match in a new game in the esports world, 350k ranks it around the 20th most watched esports event ever. In the league there are 9 North American teams and 3 worldwide teams. Both teams from Los Angeles seized the moment and dominated their matches, and this New Yorker is anxious to see what Excelsior can do during launch week.

Before the Overwatch League took over the top tier of Overwatch esports, Korean player Se-yeon played with one of the top teams in the world, ROX Orca. New team skins plus a host of new updates have been released, as indicated in the "Overwatch" patch notes for January 10.

The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July.

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Simply put, getting more than one team skin will require players to pay up for them. During the incredible Seoul Dynasty and Dallas Fuel match, commentator Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykkles jokingly pointed out how the crowd was chanting "USA!" for a team that only has one American player. If a player is doing particularly well, or the commentary is focusing on them, the camera sticks on them until a major play takes place. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Blizzard have hinted at the team being more available on their home turf in future seasons, which should help with the disconnect fans of the three teams not based in North America: Seoul, Shanghai and London.

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