NYC VIBE at the
2018 Overwatch League
August 2018 – Fans from all across the Tri-State area – joined with thousands of gamers traveling in from all over the world to New York City to be a part of ESports history.
The Overwatch League, a brand new first year ESports city based team competition played its first ever Grand Finals in New York. With more than 40 million playing the action packed game worldwide, the software makers knew they had a hot property on their hands and the next step was to show the rest of the world.
The two day finals have been hailed as a breakthrough opportunity for the ESports business, with industry executives and highly competitive gamers witnessing the scale of these championships – fans gobbled up more than 22 thousand tickets within hours of them going on sale – selling out the Barclay’s Center, with thousands more in the plaza watching on the screens. Setting their sights on hosting the championships of this growing industry in New York City was by design – to showcase to advertisers the fascination of what it means to be a video gamer.
The Overwatch League is the first major global ESports league with city-based teams with permanent franchises representing major cities across the globe. The Atlantic and Pacific divisions, comprising six teams each, competed for 3.5 million dollars in performance bonuses at stake in this inaugural season. Competitive Overwatch Matches are played between two teams of six players, who fight across a range of different venues and locations – earning points towards winning a best-of-three series. In the inaugural Grand Finals, The London Spitfire defeated the Philadelphia Fusion to take home the championship trophy and a team shared One Million Dollar prize.
In the new world of ESports, pro gamers are salaried employees with medical benefits and 401k plans. Many have personal nutritionists and fitness trainers. They are celebrities and role models for the fans who purchase jerseys and other merchandise with their names on it in their honor – and as for practice – they are in front of their screens for 8 to 10 hours a day playing the same game.
Industry experts predict that ESports viewership will likely surpass that of traditional sports leagues including the NBA and the MLB, by 2020. With that revenues will likely climb to more than 900 million this year as television channels like ESPN continue to incorporate ESports into their daily lineups, and streaming services like Amazon’s twitch become more mainstream.
So if you get hooked on ESports – Look for the New York Excelsior to start their second season in January at a very large Tri-State area near you!