They stood up, shouted and chanted as they shook. It turns out that New York e-sports fans are not much different from their traditional sports peers. These supporters have mobilized nearly 2,000 seats across the street from Madison Square Garden, and have validated the theory behind the ambitious global vision of Overwatch League.
“This event is all we had hoped for,” said John Spector, vice president of competitive video games.
OWL opened its third season at the end of last week with matches hosted by franchisees in New York and Dallas, and everything about the offers sold seemed to be a reward for its bet that a global city-wide structure could push it to the top of the industry boom.
These celebrations were the first 52 events scheduled on the internal and external calendar that will bring competitions to 20 fields distributed throughout Europe, North America and Asia. No professional league – e-sports or otherwise – has taken a tough schedule for the regular season.
While many fans are concerned about the well-being of the players – some of whom are still teenagers – the university believes it has taken appropriate measures to prevent fatigue for the first 6-to-6 computer game stars, which earn more than $ 100,000 in average season.
Of course, OWL still easily admits that this roaming adventure is an ongoing experience.
“All 52 will not be perfect,” said Spector.
In Hammerstein Hall in downtown Manhattan, the club’s bullish trend was evident. Fans spent more than $ 100 for two-day passes and started playing for two-headed matches on Saturday and Sunday. Four teams – New York, Boston, London, and Paris – revolve around them, and fans were almost full, even in indoor tournaments.
It looked like a tight sports fanatic – decorated with teamwork from the on-site charging platform, waiting in line for pizza and beer during lulls, which angered a competitor in Boston at every opportunity.
“The audience has always been here,” said Fares Kamel, co-founder and president of Andbox, who runs The New York Excelsior.
Consider a completely strong blizzard as you seek to give the global e-sport phenomenon a geographical touch. While other e-sports, such as the decades-old pro-league Legends University Circuit, have flourished with unfounded franchises, Blizzard-backed OWL believes that the future of this industry involves holding live events for invested parties throughout the year.
After hosting almost all of her games in seasons 1 and 2 at a facility near Los Angeles, Blizzard started her city experience in earnest this year. Each franchise is assigned to host between two and five weekends of competition during a regular 26-week season that runs through early August.
It is time for the league to lag behind competitors in all audiences. The major OWL Finals averaged 1.12 million viewers worldwide in 2019, lagging behind the average viewership for the Champions League 21.8 million, according to Nielsen. For comparison, the average number of games achieved by Game 7 in the World Series last year was 23.2 million in the United States, while Super Bowl got 112.7 million.
OWL fans recently expressed concern about signs of slowing league momentum, including a mass exodus of many of his famous talents on the air. More disturbing was the misleading speculation that travel plans might require players to score nearly twice the number of miles scored by traditional American athletes, which worries fans about the plan’s viability.
The league vehemently opposed these accounts and thought they were strategic enough in their schedule to keep the players fresh.
Instead of forcing teams to play ping-pong around the world, OWL assembled tables by region. For example, Paris Eternal will open with about two months on the US East Coast, except for a weekend in Houston. They will swear mid-season, mostly in Europe, and then conclude a four-week trip through China. These legs will permeate goodbye for weeks, especially before and after long trips.
“Travel is, by nature, part of a global bond like the one we designed,” Commissioner Commissioner Pete Flastica said. “We’ve done a lot of work to make sure that the burden of this travel is still at its absolute minimum.”
Total mileage is not as extreme as fans fear. The league team Paris team to cover 52,000 miles, compared to about 40,000 miles per season for the NBA franchise. But this is more time on the way.
Paris had a report on New Jersey players in mid-January, and that would be used as a base for the first part of the season. They will get similar settings during fluctuations across Europe and Asia.
“It reduces travel time, it allows us to train longer than other teams traveling from far away,” said Derek Trung from Paris Electronic Sports Games.
The league has already lost players due to fatigue in previous seasons, when homesickness was a problem for a large group of international players, but travel is exhausted