If you thought $20 million for a franchise in the Overwatch League was expensive, there’s bad news unfortunately. The recent growth and popularity of the Overwatch league in its first 3 stages has now pushed the asking price of prospective buyers higher than its original buy-in value.
Activision Blizzard is now pricing expansion slots for the Overwatch League between a hefty $30 million and $60 million as the negotiation for further teams for next season is underway. Great news for the growth of the Overwatch League and E-sports in general as it becomes more mainstream amongst gamers and the general population.
The price for a coveted slot will depend on a number of factors including the population of the area where the team would be based and the number of Overwatch players in that region. It will also depend on how many interested buyers from that particular area would be interested – driving the price further upward.
Numerous potential buyers who were quoted the initial buy-in price of $20 million last year thought it was too large a commitment, especially with the unknown of the popularity of such a relatively new e-sport game. Things have changed. So far the Overwatch League has averaged 80,000-170,000 viewers on broadcasters Twitch, over its three stages January to May. Opening day drew 400,000 viewers alone.
In terms of marketing and sponsorship the Overwatch League has gained close to $150 million. Included in this is a two-year $90 million Twitch deal, multiyear $17 million HP Omen agreement and a $10 million Intel contract as reported by ESPN. The future definitely looks bright for the Overwatch League and E-sports.
Activision Blizzard will hope to sell anywhere between four to six expansion slots in the next season, particularly targeting North America and international cities. Many teams now have a strong following from their home towns and players themselves have become cult figures like New York Excelsior’s PINE and SAEBYEOLBE.
Stay tuned for the last stage of season 1 and the overall playoffs where the winner will take home $1 million.