If you're a fan of Esports you will have definitely heard of the Overwatch League, with millions currently being invested into a game that is so young it begs the question, what differs Overwatch from everything else?
To begin, Overwatch was a hit from the get go, the core game brought in a huge casual fan-base that enjoyed playing the game, however as the audience grew and like every game, people become more and more competitive and once hooked on the in-game built competitive playlist then of course the next step is some kind of League being introduced. However this is where Overwatch splits itself from everything else - instead of beginning at small values and then growing with the audience and market, Overwatch instead skipped the line and announced the Overwatch League, in which costs start at $20 Million + for a place. This was not only ground breaking but also seemed mad at the time, for such a young title to begin at such heights.
There is no clear reason to why this standard was set so high within Overwatch as an Esport however I believe one of the obvious, key reasons is simply the developers that back them; Blizzard. They are one of the largest game developers in the world and have found huge success within their market - therefore they know the gaming/Esports world more than ever. This leads me onto their main reason - confidence. They had a good core game, large audience and of course a lot of spare investment. On a side note, one thing to mention which I am very torn on is the separate branding in the League, for example OpTics - Outlaws. I like the idea and I find it adds more fun to the mix, however I do totally agree that $20 Million + should be forked out for you to be forced different branding - just me?
However, with all this hype and success does not leave Overwatch in a perfect position. I believe their obvious lack of a 'Amateur' scene leaves them with a huge gap of possibly supporters. For more information on this read my other post which focuses directly on why the 'AM' scene is important. Furthermore, one thing to mention is the recent announcement of Twitch paying $90 Million to host the Overwatch League - I believe this is absurd to the fact that without Twitch - the League would have not averaged 300,000 Concurrent views for their launch day.
To end, I believe this really is a great Step for Esports, to not only bring the interest of outside investment but also reinforce the confidence behind the future of Esports. However I believe if we don't support the majority of the fan-base, we will fall behind and lose our core value; Community.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment below.