Five Pro Overwatch Teams Disbanded, Possibly Due To High Entry Rate For Overwatch League
Overwatch is almost a year old and the esports scene around the hero shooter is strong. While the influx of tournaments keep the scene healthy, there’s also the Overwatch League. It’s an ambitious endeavour of running franchised teams in a league like Riot’s LCS, or traditional sports leagues like the NFL and MLB.
It’s an open secret that the idea of location-based franchises are a way to attract traditional sports investors into esports. According to a report by ESPN, the Overwatch League is trying to court these big investors with a big barrier to entry: $20 million USD for a spot in the League.
From the esports perspective, this number is pretty huge. A spot in the LCS for instance costs 1.8 million. Even worse, the promised 25% profit sharing of the League with franchise owners will only start by 2021, that’s four years of operating more than 20 million USD.
We’ve also seen about five pro teams from well-established esports organisations pulling out of Overwatch. CompLexity, Red Reserve, TSM, Denial Esports and Splyce has all announced the disbandment of their Overwatch teams all in the matter of one week, as reported by Compete. This is more likely to be related, and more teams will follow suit according to the ESPN report. The barrier to entry is the main issue, though the game and league itself are still desirable for the teams.
However, there’s at least one spot in the Overwatch League that is reportedly close to being secured by Kraft Sports Group. The Group owns NFL’s New England Patriots as well as MLS’s New England Revolution, essentially one of the investors Blizzard is gunning for with the League.
As the North American and European scene continues to be in flux until we hear more solid news about the Overwatch League, the other side of the world keeps on going with their own major leagues. In Korea, Season 3 of the OGN Apex has undergone as usual.