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First seven Overwatch League franchises announced

Perhaps the entry price for Overwatch League franchises has kept the number of applicants down?

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Perhaps the entry price for Overwatch League franchises has kept the number of applicants down?

Rumours for the entry price, for franchises in the Overwatch League, put costs anywhere between around $5m and $20m US, depending on who you ask. That’s a lot of money, by anyone’s reckoning.

The plan is to have city-based teams – similar to the NFL or Major League Baseball – that limits the number of teams, and hopefully gives regional fans something to root for. There’s also talk of talent pools, similar to the college draft, and possibly different tiers of teams to allow for smaller franchises to start in the future, and work their way up through the ranks.

But there are only seven. Seven teams. We’re no experts in esports, or sports in general to be honest, but don’t you typically need more than seven teams to make a competitive, watchable league? I mean, the Scottish Premier League has 12 and that’s generally considered a bit shit, so surely by simple subtraction, seven teams is not enough teams?

So who do we have?

  • Boston – Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots
  • New York – Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the New York Mets
  • Los Angeles – Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals
  • Miami-Orlando – Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming
  • San Francisco – Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports
  • Shanghai – NetEase
  • Seoul – Kevin Chou, Co-founder of Kabam

Again, we’re no experts in esports – now the official spelling, by the way; thanks, AP! – but our guess would be that the price tag has put off some traditional esports teams from taking up a seat at Blizzard’s table. It certainly caused a chunk of teams to drop their Overwatch League plans, following the price announcements.

We’re also guessing that Blizzard were probably hoping that table would be a hell of a lot bigger than seven; they’ve probably only got their own exorbitant pricing to blame.

Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.