Activision Blizzard is reportedly pricing Overwatch League expansion spots between $30m (£22m) and $60m (£44m) for the next season, according to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf. The 12 franchises currently competing paid $20m (£14m) each for their spots in the summer of 2017.
Rumours have been swirling as to the possibility of expansion teams for season two and as Blizzard confirmed that, it also pointed out a focus on expanding the audience and improving the viewer experience for the future. With nine of the twelve OWL franchises based in the United States, it’s likely that Blizzard will look to further expand outside the US.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer confirmed the league would be targeting Europe for future expansions as it is home to many endemic sports clubs: “That’s not to say we won’t add more North American teams. We will. But the focus for us is expansion in Europe and Asia.” Nanzer also referenced countries like France, Germany, Spain, and even Australia. “There’s been lots of activity in Australia with AFL teams getting involved with esports, so there could be something interesting there.”
The Overwatch League is currently in its final stage of the inaugural season as teams are vying for a spot in the grand finals in July at the Barclays Center in New York City.
Esports Insider says: The Overwatch League has had its share of ups and downs in its first season but the increase of pricing certainly shows where Blizzard sees the future of OWL. It’s surprising to see it rise so high after just the first season but as Blizzard projected the league to make a profit in its inaugural season, there’s plenty of teams hungry to take part in the expansion. Now that the price tag has risen, will organizations still want in?