Why The Show “Overwatch League” Is the Future of TV

Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Overwatch League is an esports league. To be exact, it is a professional esports league for Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch, boasting a prize pool that can be counted in the millions. For those who are curious, the Overwatch League possesses a lot of similarities to professional sports leagues operating in North America. For example, it features a number of permanent teams that are based in particular cities. Likewise, it has a regular season followed by the playoffs.

On top of this, it should be mentioned that the players in the Overwatch League are guaranteed a minimum salary plus benefits, which isn’t counting the fact that they can expect a share in the winnings as well as a share in the revenues brought in by their team’s performance. Based on this, it should be clear that Blizzard Entertainment and the other stakeholders are very serious about ensuring the success of the Overwatch League. Moreover, considering how far the esports league has come since its initial launch, it seems safe to say that they have excellent reason to be so.

How Far Has the Overwatch League Come?

It would be overstating the case to say that Overwatch was created with esports in mind. Certainly, Blizzard Entertainment started working on it at around the same time that esports were becoming more and more popular, meaning that it was on its mind. However, the video game developer believed that it would be too dangerous to over-commit to the idea of esports from the start, meaning that it would be safer for it to wait to see how the players would react to Overwatch before making further moves in that regard. As it turned out, Blizzard Entertainment noticed that the players were already forming competitions in Overwatch‘s beta period, which provided it with a fair amount of impetus for its still forming plans.

Eventually, Blizzard Entertainment made the announcement that it would be starting up the Overwatch League in November of 2016. It made a deliberate decision to go with a structure that is more similar to those of the sports leagues that are most popular in North America, which enabled the esports league to stand out from its counterparts from the start. However, it was clear that Blizzard Entertainment expected that the Overwatch League would pay off, both in the form of its own revenues and in the form of the boost that it would provide to the rest of the video game developer’s operations.

Nowadays, the number of teams in the Overwatch League can be counted in the double digits. Moreover, while most of these teams are still concentrated in the United States, there are others in China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. Furthermore, the Overwatch League has managed to secure hundreds of millions of dollars through various deals with various parties, which happen to include heavyweights such as Disney, Twitch, and Toyota. Something that says a lot about the commercial potential packed into the esports league.

Will the Overwatch League Be the Future of TV?

It would be an exaggeration to say that the Overwatch League is the future of TV. Certainly, there is a deal in place for it to be shown on the TV screen. However, the nature of esports means that a lot of interested individuals will continue to use other ways to keep up with its events.

With that said, it is perfectly reasonable to say that the Overwatch League and other examples of esports will continue to expand their presence in the TV landscape. In part, this is because video games are very, very popular, so much so that they outweigh both video and music put together in some countries. However, it should also be noted that the video game industry has been much more willing to embrace some of the more interesting possibilities opened up by modern telecommunications tech, which has provided a further boost to the formation of entire communities within the video games market centered on esports. As such, esports is making its presence felt more and more, meaning that the TV landscape won’t be left untouched in the times to come.

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