Numlock Sunday: Ash Parrish on the fate of esports and the Overwatch League
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition.
This week, I spoke to Ash Parrish, who wrote “Activision Blizzard lays off esports staff as it faces potential dramatic changes for the Overwatch League” for The Verge. Here's what I wrote about it:
The Overwatch League is one of the earliest and highest-investment attempts to make a city-based franchise system work in an esports league. This fifth season, though, may be its last, as following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft the latest news does not bode well for the future of the league, which at one point commanded a franchise buy-in fee of $20 million to $35 million. Besides a brutal layoff in the esports department, Activision Blizzard said in its second quarter earnings that a vote will now go to the teams over a new operating agreement, and if the teams do not vote to renew it they’ll each be paid a termination fee of $6 million and be allowed to walk away, which is a strong…