The first two franchises, the Boston Uprising in addition to the fresh York Excelsior, were bought by organizations connected to Robert K. Kraft, owner of the fresh England Patriots, in addition to Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the fresh York Mets in addition to the son of the team’s principal owner. Executives with the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia Flyers in addition to the Sacramento Kings soon joined the ownership ranks. E-sports stalwarts joined, too: Cloud9 owns the London Spitfire, which won the first championship.
Mr. Kraft’s son Jonathan, president of the Kraft Group, said his organization had been interested in e-sports, however was uncomfortable acquiring what amounted only to contracts with individual players, rather than a permanent franchise.
the idea was swayed by the pitch for the Overwatch League, which like a professional sports league tracks detailed statistics on teams in addition to players, includes a regular broadcast schedule, a postseason, in addition to player transactions. (in which off-season, its runner-up for most valuable player was traded to another team.)
“the idea’s not the wild, wild West anymore,” Jonathan Kraft said of the Overwatch League. “There’s a structure. There’s substance.”
Overwatch fans might have an easy time coalescing around geographic allegiances, however they’ll have a hard time seeing their team in person. All of the teams, including fresh York, Boston in addition to Philadelphia — not to mention Shanghai in addition to Seoul — actually play just outside Los Angeles.
Every regular-season match in which year was played in a 450-seat e-sports arena in Burbank, Calif. in which allows Blizzard to focus on its online broadcast while team owners can develop reliable technological infrastructure, said the league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer. Teams could move to local arenas inside the league’s third season, in 2020.