Blizzard Announces Overwatch Pacific Championship 2017; Overwatch League to make millions
Australian Overwatch players are in the running to walk away with $357,000 AUD in the inaugural Overwatch Pacific Championship.
Eight teams from all over Asia Pacific are headed to Taipei to compete in the Overwatch Pacific Championship 2017. Australia will be represented by Blank Esports and will face Hong Kong’s Hong Kong Attitude, Japan’s SunSister and DeToNator Gold, Taiwan’s Machi Esports, ahq eSports Club and Flash Wolves and Thailand’s FireBall.
Taking place across an 11-week regular season, the top three teams will then compete in the playoffs. Each and every OPC match will be broadcast live via Blizzard Taiwan Livestream Channel. The broadcasts will occur Friday through Sunday.
The OPC isn’t the only exciting news for eSports fans. The Overwatch League was announced during Blizzcon 2016 and will commence in full in 2018. A shortened season will commence in Q3 2017.
The league will be operated by Blizzard and will feature permanent teams with players receiving salaries, like traditional professional sports. Blizzard will even provide assistance to team owners with a view to boosting spectatorship and potential sponsorship.
Investment firm Morgan Stanley has predicted that the league will generate over $100 million USD each year when it commences. Morgan Stanley’s report — discovered by Dot Esports — on the Overwatch League indicates that it could potentially generate up to $720 million USD a year.
Those numbers would see the Overwatch League more successful than North America’s Major League Soccer. To do so though, the report indicates that at least 12 million viewers would need to tune into the finals.
To reach the more moderate figure of $100 million USD, the League still has to overcome some hurdles. Morgan Stanley’s report suggests that $30 million USD would be generated from ads and licencing, $30 million USD from sponsorship and the remainder from merch, tickets and fans.
Blizzard is certainly positioning Overwatch and its League to be the premier eSports competition in the world. With a playerbase of over 25 million, there’s certainly no shortage of fans. The increasing interest in eSports as a whole will also bolster Blizzard’s efforts.
We’ll have to wait and see until Season Once kicks off later this year.
Overwatch is available now.