Overwatch League Gets Major Sponsorship Play From HP, Intel For Inaugural Season
Friday, November 3, 2017 at 07:14AM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Blizzard, HP, Intel, Overwatch League, eSports, eSports

By Barry Janoff

November 2, 2017: "The world needs legendary heroes . . .  and fans," a voiceover says in a preview spot for the Overwatch League, "The Path To Glory." "Are you with us?"

The already burgeoning Overwatch League received another major boost as HP Inc. and Intel signed multi-level sponsorship deals with the Blizzard Entertainment property.

The two companies said the eSports alliance represents “an extended investment in the groundbreaking professional league.”

Financial terms of the multi-year pact were not shared.

The alliance will see Intel (which is also a global partner with the International Olympic Committee) sponsor Overwatch competitive events in addition to the Overwatch League.

Players taking part in these events will be equipped with gaming hardware from both HP and Intel.

Specifically, Omen by HP gaming PCs and displays will be used exclusively for Overwatch League games, with PCs powered by Intel Core i7 processors.

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with HP and Intel to ensure that the teams competing professionally in Overwatch are equipped with top-end technology,” Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO for Blizzard Entertainment’s Major League Gaming division, said in a statement.

“Multi-year collaborations such as this illustrate the momentum behind the Overwatch League as well as a long-term commitment by us and our partners in what we see as the future of eSports.”

The Overwatch League is a global professional eSports circuit with city-based teams across Asia, Europe and North America.

Pre-season play for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League is scheduled to begin Dec. 6 with a series of exhibition matches featuring the inaugural 12 teams.

The first regular season match is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2018. The season runs until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July.

All Overwatch League pre-season and regular-season games for 2018 will take place in Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, located in Burbank, which was custom-renovated by Blizzard Entertainment for eSports events.

The Overwatch League is based on Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch, which the company said “quickly became (its) fastest-growing game following its release last year,” and now tops 35 million players.

According to John Bonini, vp and GM for the VR, gaming and eSports division at Intel, “For more than 12 years Intel has consistently supported the eSports community and we’re always looking for ways to help improve how they play, watch, and compete.

“The Overwatch League will be a great showcase for esports, and we’re excited to be a part of it with Blizzard," said Bonini.

Among the companies and people who have become owners in Overwatch League teams are the Kraft Group, majority owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots (Overwatch League team Boston Uprising); Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, majority owners of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams (and their under construction $1.2 billion stadium), NBA’s Denver Nuggets and soccer’s Arsenal FC (Los Angeles Gladiators), Jeff Wilpon, DOO for MLB’s New York Mets (New York Excelsior) and Comcast Spectator ((Philadelphia Fusion).

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