Will Overwatch Look Like NFL?

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Activision Blizzard Inc. wants to make that a reality starting as soon as next year. The biggest videogame company in the U.S. by market value… is talking to owners of more than 100 traditional and e-sports teams to gauge their interest in joining a league for its videogame ‘Overwatch’ that would operate like the National Football League and other professional sports organizations.”

The Ticker adds: “Blizzard plans to start the league in 2017, with competing teams set up to represent major cities, much like in existing professional sports.”

“At the beginning of the new season, Blizzard will host a combine, or an event that will allow players to demonstrate their gaming skills. Eligible gamers will receive invitations to try out for teams after a series of assessment tests.”

“Typically, e-sports leagues choose from a pool of existing teams already competing in tournaments, but Blizzard is interested in building teams from scratch.”

Could this work? As the WSJ notes, execution would present challenges: “Any e-sports league would have a long way to go to create brands as recognizable as the New York Yankees. Still, traditional sports names are taking notice. The National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers and European soccer clubs such as Valencia CF already invest in e-sports. Time Warner Inc.’s TBS and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN networks broadcast contests.”



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