With the arrival of the Overwatch League approaching fast, both Blizzard and eSports teams alike are preparing themselves, but doubt remains that for the massively popular FPS can be a successful venture.
According to CNBC, financial services firm Cowen has downgraded its market rating of Activision Blizzard for the first time in nine years, stating its new esports league may do worse than expected. An analyst from Cowan released the following statement:
“As this is the first time a publisher has ever attempted to launch a major eSport from scratch, we expect OWL [Overwatch League] 1.0 to be a learning experience, and thus believe that the probability of reality failing to meet investor expectations is relatively high,”
This isn’t the first time Activision-Blizzard has run tournaments, but never before have they tried to build up their very own eSports presence complete with their own eSports arena in Los Angeles, stating that they wish to make LA a big hub for gaming tournaments. According to Cowen analyst Doug Creutz, “the probability of reality failing to meet investor expectations is relatively high.”
With this being the Overwatch League’s first season, it may not be as popular as other eSports events such as Riot games League of Legends Championships, but over time may grow to rival LOL’s Championships. We all remember that LOL started out small in viewership during its first championship, but has since grown to around 15 million viewers just last year. Still, teams are being announced and fans are in a frenzy, ready to see this event when it goes live.
But Overwatch is already a sensation in the gaming world, it may prove more popular then investor’s give it credit for. In the end, it will be up to the community and the tournament participants to see if Activision-Blizzard’s new league has a future in the gaming world. The preseason running for the Overwatch League will begin on December 6th with both fans and critics alike ready to view and judge how well Activision Blizzard’s new venture turns out.