Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, sat down with German magazine Handellsblat to talk Season 2 of the Overwatch League. His primary focus? Season 2 teams.
The Overwatch League currently has 12 teams, but that won’t be true for long. Vlastelica revealed that the League is looking to add two teams apiece in Europe, Asia, and North America. And while he couldn’t provide info on specific locations, Vlastelica hinted strongly at a Berlin spot.
“Germany plays an important role for us,” Vlastelica remarked. “This is particularly true for Berlin, with its rich history of esports foundations and liveliness. Not to mention the demographic profile and the cultural significance of the city. We want a team in Berlin.”
Whether or not the League will end up in Berlin is up to the quality of the team’s potential owner, Vlastelica says. The Overwatch League is looking for investors that can prove their commitment to the game, their willingness to build a local fanbase, and their ability to provide strategic resources to the League. That means more than just money- though that’s still definitely a requirement, of course.
“How much?” is not an easy question, though. The value of a spot in the Overwatch League has increased since the initial buy-in last year, and Vlastelica was clear that interested parties would do well to invest while the getting’s good. The first round of returns far exceeded expectations, and odds are that the trend will hold- so investors will need to cough up if they want in on the action.
Vlastelica was also quick to point out the stability and security a franchise league like OWL provides for its investors.
“[Esports] leagues are more inclined to finance themselves. Their existence is economically justified by the idea of sales, because they generate revenue.The further that progresses, the more likely larger investments by publishers and investors are from the outside. This kind of sustainability gives investors the security they need to place a bet on esports. The structure of the league offers them a stability that has not existed in esports. The franchise leagues and their economic system make up an investment class that is very different from the other leagues.”
With a plethora of potential investors for Season 2, the Overwatch League is also looking at cities in Spain, France, and Sweden, as well as the Asia/Pacific region and North America. Current speculation on the location of these teams includes cities like Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Toronto- not including the strong apparent interest in Berlin.
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Featured Photo Courtesy of the Overwatch League