This week in esports: Overwatch League,, ESL and Betway

Undoubtedly reports late last night that Blizzard has entered agreements for six of its coveted Overwatch League slots, with San Francisco and Los Angeles rumoured to be worth $20 million is amongst the biggest news. Away from Overwatch, has signed a sponsorship with Giants Gaming. ESL has revealed 5% of its total workforce will be made redundant, whilst also announcing Betway as the Official Betting Partner of ESL One Cologne

Image courtesy of Blizzard

Overwatch League slots worth $20 million

Blizzard has sold six slots for its up and coming Overwatch League (“OWL”), according to a report by ESPN Esports‘ Jacob Wolf.

Reports from ESPN sources suggest that Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots, and Fred Wilpon, owner of New York Mets are amongst those who intend to participate in the upcoming OWL. 

It also reveals that agreements have been reached for franchises in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Boston in the United States. Additionally, Shanghai and Seoul are touted as the two confirmed non-American slots thus far. The Los Angeles based franchise, as expected, will be purchased by Immortals and the San Francisco slot will be purchased by NRG Esports. Both teams have had heavy traditional sports backing, but the buy-in price of $20 million is a huge amount of money regardless. 

Read the full article here.

Betway announced as ESL One Cologne Official Betting Partner

The ESL One Cologne viewing experience will be enhanced this weekend as Betway has been announced as the Official Betting Partner. As a result, live odds have and will continue to be added to the broadcast.

The release on ESL’s website states that “Betway will enhance the ESL One Cologne viewing experience by adding live odds to the broadcast to demonstrate the power of balance between the playing teams”. 

So far, the odds have been appearing before each game and at the half way point of each map. They haven’t been featuring constantly throughout the broadcast as it would likely be impractical.

The quarter finals are underway and the winner of the lion’s share of $250,000 will be crowned come Sunday at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany. The likes of FaZe, Na’Vi, SK, Liquid remain in what’s a fairly stacked tournament.

Read the full article here.

ESL redundancies to account for 5% of global workforce

ESL has confirmed to Slingshot Esports that a total of five percent of its global workforce will leave the company as it looks to “realign resources and expand the organisation to drive innovation”. 

The report from Jarek “DeKay” Lewis on Slingshot suggests 15-20 employees from the States have had their contracts terminated with immediate effect. Those effected will receive severance pay. It differs slightly from ESL’s European counterparts who will remain in a job until the end of September.

The emphasis from ESL is clearly upon the fact that they’re focusing on a realignment and subsequent expansion. The indication that the five percent of jobs cut will subsequently be reopened is an interesting one, although thus far there’s no information as to how the expansion will manifest itself and where the new jobs will lie.

Read the full article here.

PVP.Me sponsor Giants Gaming

Giants Gaming and esports only betting operator PVP.ME have agreed a sponsorship arrangement for 2017.

The terms of this deal mean that the team will henceforth be known as Giants PVP.ME participated in the CS:GO ESL Masters Spain where they ended up in second place behind KPI-GAMING. This followed twelve hours of intense competition in which Giants PVP.ME gained exposure on Twitch and on Spanish TV via Movistar+. 

PVP.ME is a bespoke esports betting exchange platform that started in 2015 and recently launched publicly. Currently over 6,000 esport fans  bet daily on the platform on matches and streams.

Read the full article here.