Overwatch League Inks Deals From Sports Owners Like Patriots’ Kraft, Mets’ Wilpon

Written By Dustin Gouker on July 7, 2017 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]Some heavy hitters from the world of sports are getting involved with the new Overwatch League.

ESPN reported that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon are among those who are intend to be a part of the new league from Blizzard Entertainment.

The Overwatch League plans to launch sometime later this year.

More on the new Overwatch League agreements

The Overwatch League continues to generate interest after the idea was formally announced late last year. More from ESPN:

The league has reached agreements for teams to be located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Shanghai and Seoul, South Korea. The buy-in price for Los Angeles-based Immortals and San Francisco-based NRG Esports is $20 million per spot, to be paid over time, sources said. The prices for the Kraft and Wilpon groups and the non-North American spots have not been disclosed.

… Patriots parent company Kraft Sports Group is guaranteed the Boston spot, as previously confirmed by ESPN. In New York, the spot will be owned and operated by Wilpon, the Mets’ majority owner, and his family, multiple sources said.

There had been some concern for Blizzard being able to make the model work, but the new agreements are a step toward the Overwatch League going live.

Overlaps in sports and esports

Interest in esports from more traditional sports leagues and personalities is hardly a new development:

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The latest on the Overwatch League

The reports on the new agreements for the Overwatch League came shortly after a message from the league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer, was posted on the league website.

The note was about how the league will help teams identify top talent for spots on franchise rosters:

The brilliant esports action these and other events across the globe have showcased recently has left us inspired and hungry for more. We know that you are excited for the launch of the Overwatch League, and believe me, we’re right there with you. We’re all itching to see which competitors will make it to the next level as rosters full of world-class players are meticulously crafted.

To help this team-building process happen smoothly and effectively, the Overwatch League Office will be compiling a scouting report, which will be available to all Overwatch League team owners.

It’s still not clear exactly when the Overwatch League will go live. But recent weeks point to the fact that launch is getting closer with each passing day.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. You can also find his work at Legal Sports Report.

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