As reported by Eurogamer, Blizzard will be forcing teams in their Overwatch League to be tied to a city in a style similar to traditional sports. As previously reported, these slots could cost up to $20million dollars depending on the size of the market with bigger cities costing more. As of now there have been 7 potential team owners meaning teams in Boston, New York, LA, Miami, San Francisco and surprisingly, Shanghai and Seoul. This is a departure from most sports in general as cross continent play is usually reserved for occasional world events as opposed to being in the same league.
Opinion: I was a fan of Overwatch and it has been well supported but this honestly sounds like madness. It isn’t that great of a competitive sport in my mind; even if the gunplay and strategy is good I don’t think it can be broadcast effectively enough. MOBA’s have the ideal viewpoint as you can see all of the action something that shooters can’t match. While Counter Strike is one of the most popular esports, that hinges on permadeath in rounds meaning you can follow the viewpoint of the last few remaining players as opposed to in Overwatch where there are plenty of respawns.
So I don’t think it’s a good fit for esports but that is something that needs to be around to keep a game relevant these days. So instead we have this very ballsy decision by Blizzard to charge a ridiculously high entry fee for teams and limiting teams to geographical locations seems so unnecessary. I understand it is trying to appeal in the same way as normal sports but it isn’t a normal sport. What is the point of having a league featuring teams from America and Asia? If the teams are linked geographically then surely there will be home and away games. That is a whole lot of travel for the players. There is a reason that this doesn’t happen in normal sports. I’m just so puzzled by these decisions and it has taken too long to happen. The game has been out for over a year now and this stuff still hasn’t been decided.