Want to appeal to sports and gaming fans alike? Why not create your own video game sports league. Overwatch League is just that: A region-based league with teams names that sound like they’re ripped straight out of the NFL (Houston Outlaws and Shanghai Dragons to name a few). Every team is privately owned and sponsored, with a total prize pool of $3.5M distributed every year.
The genius of Blizzard’s Overwatch League and esports as a whole, is their ability to align players with not only your own brand, but also brands within your game. Keep players invested in your game by having them become fans of pro teams in your game.
The result? Massive viewership numbers. OWL enjoyed a peak viewership of 138,576 across all western streaming platforms in 2020, with a total of 15,923,198 hours watched. Blizzard Entertainment, who have historically been at the forefront of esports going back to Starcraft: Brood War, are showing they have what it takes to hang with the likes of esports giants Riot Games and Valve.