Overwatch League – Owner Of NRG Says Investing In OWL Was A Blunder On Their Part

Overwatch League – Owner Of NRG Says Investing In OWL Was A Blunder On Their Part
Credit: Overwatch League via YouTube

Esports are still in their infancy. While other sports leagues have managed to finagle every last cent from their fans and teams, such as the NBA and NFL, esports are a bit more uncertain.

Matches are streamed across the internet, and the COVID-19 pandemic means that tournament organizers aren’t receiving revenue from physical tickets from events.

Counter-Strike has carried on relatively unsullied from the pandemic, although the global seeds are beyond comprehension as teams shift from LAN on online matches, bringing about a host of issues from latency to disconnects that have spawned more than its fair share of drama.

Andy Miller, the CEO of NRG, had some specific words about their investment into Blizzards Overwatch League, calling it a blunder to dive into the esport and presume that it would be financially viable.

This is arguably the closest to straight out spelling disaster for the league that the public has seen since the League stood up in 2018; some are theorizing that this sentiment is stretching well beyond just NRG, and into other teams within the League that are becoming frustrated with hemorrhaging money.

If this sentiment is widespread across the teams, and Blizzard can’t figure out a way for the organizations to make their money back, we could be looking at the end of the league as we currently know it once this season concludes.

The CEO notes that Call of Duty is a cultural phenomenon where the Sacramento Kings are calling to ask to play with the NRG CoD team, while no one asks to play Overwatch with (players).

He further notes that the Homestands were critical to financial success for many teams, and COVID-19 has stymied what was an ‘exciting opportunity’. As they currently stand, however, Overwatch League simply isn’t nearly the hit like Call of Duty is, which adds a bit of weight to review the decision to invest in the Overwatch League.

Andy Miller states the Blizzard need to ‘revisit’ the core philosophy behind Overwatch and the Overwatch League to not only make it more enjoyable but also more profitable.

The interviews closing, in general, painted what some may consider being an ominous sign for the future of the Overwatch League; concerning as Blizzard is clearly banking on their upcoming title, Overwatch 2, being a massive success so they can cancel support on that one a year after release to start working on yet another title.

Whether this could be a turning point in the future of Overwatch League, or the beginnings of the Ship of Theseus crashing into the reef, is up for debate. With Blizzard’s recent history, however, I’d bet on the latter.