For years, esports has developed and grown organically and without much structure.
A real Wild West of teams and leagues and sponsors. Game publishers were happy that people were buying, playing, and talking about their games. They were satisfied to sit back and enjoy the profits. The esports industry continues to explode. Publishers are reining in some of that power so they can reap even more financial benefits.
A great example of this shift in power is Blizzard Entertainment’s creation of the Overwatch League.
By having complete control over its intellectual property and distribution, Blizzard is poised to create structure among the esports chaos. The publisher flexed its muscles back in August it revealed that teams joining the Overwatch League had to ditch their established names for new names tied to a location. For example, instead of being able to use their well-known brand of Team EnVyUs when joining the Overwatch League, the team will be known as the Dallas Fuel.
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