Last year Blizzard announced a championship for one of it’s most popular titles Overwatch. To capitalize on a global fan base perhaps this might be seen as a move that made a lot of sense.
With Overwatch League Blizzard is asking respective eSports organization to invest $20 million to the Championship. Issues arise when questioned about the League sustainability in the years to come and if it’ll yield such results in terms of profits and viewership of annual play-off and regular seasons.
The Cowen Group which for the last nine years have been giving a perfect rating to Activision Blizzard parent company of Blizzard. Which gave the company a 600% increase in shares since 2008, seems to think that it might be an attractive enough proposition for investors. Well $20 million is a big gamble in a market which is for the time being in it’s initial phase of growth. An official statement is as follows when investors were interviewed on Monday, via CNBC
“As this is the first time a publisher has ever attempted to launch a major esport from scratch, we expect OWL 1.0 to be a learning experience, and thus believe that the probability of reality failing to meet investor expectations is relatively high,” the Cowen Group’s analyst Doug Creutz stated.
It was forecasted by the leading global financial firm Morgan Stanley that Overwatch League will generate about $100 million if the average viewership is at least 72,000 for the regular season and 7.7 million for the playoffs. While in reality the numbers aren’t even close.
It does seem that the eSports phenomenon will take a decade or so to catch up with the more traditional sports , although the growth of the industry is very encouraging , and it wont be soon before long when we can perhaps have a champions league for different popular games.