A brand new sponsorship deal for the Overwatch League, between Blizzard, HP and Intel, has today been announced.
When you’re running a high-profile esports league, you’re going to need three things:
- Some amazing esports professionals.
- Some money to put it all together.
- Some high-end hardware to power it.
Yes, you could also argue that you need a few other things – venues, fans, coverage etc. – but one thing really does lead to another. You’re always going to have teams that want to take part, and given that the Overwatch League franchises are rumoured to have paid tens of millions of dollars to join, that’s requirements one and two taken care of immediately. [First you get the teams, then you get the money… – Scarface Ed.]
With all that money Blizzard would probably be able to afford to buy high-end hardware to play league matches on, but if you can get it for free, why wouldn’t you?
Overwatch is one of the biggest games on the planet, so hardware vendors have no doubt been tripping over each other to be involved in the Overwatch League. The winners, so to speak, are HP and Intel. So what does that mean?
In practical terms for the fans and the progress of the league itself, not a great deal. HP will be supplying Omen gaming hardware, powered by the latest Intel Core i7 processors, to make sure that the Overwatch League events run smoothly from a technical perspective.
In return, HP and Intel will get to slap their names all over the Overwatch League matches and the Blizzard Arena, Los Angeles. In addition, as part of the multiyear deal, Intel will also be sponsoring other competitive Overwatch events outside of the Overwatch League itself.
And presumably all that money Blizzard have saved on high-end gaming hardware as part of the sponsorship deal with HP and Intel will be going into
the prize pot the pockets of Blizzard’s executives and shareholders.