The Overwatch League offers esports a new concept, with teams based in cities, and often owned by more traditional sports franchise owners, like Robert Kraft, of the NFL’s New England Patriots. Teams are based across the world, from San Francisco to Shanghai, and from London to Seoul. Most of the franchises are based in the USA, and the league has most of the world’s top Overwatch players signed up.
Only Los Angeles has more than one team currently, with each of the other teams’ ownership groups having exclusive rights for their region. The focus is very much on North America currently, but the gaming powerhouses of China and South Korea are also very much part of the action.
The league, obviously, focuses on the game from Activision Blizzard, which now has over 20 million players. Issues about how tricky it can be for spectators to follow the action in Overwatch have been worked on, and Overwatch League betting markets are proliferating. So, if you’re looking to bet on Overwatch, and want to develop your knowledge of the game and its star players, read on!
As esports continues to grow, it is not surprising that esports betting has grown along with it. Nowadays, fans will not just play games themselves, but watch live matches, in which their favourite teams and players are competing. No wonder then that betting on games such as Overwatch has become so popular in recent years.
Here at Esportsbetting we provide our punters with the chance to bet on their favourite esports, with plenty of variety of markets on offer. Live betting offers additional thrills, and there is a great range of in-play options available here!
Why you should place OW bets at Esportsbetting:
As stated before, the teams in the Overwatch League have been formed on what is a new model for esports. This is because they are based on geographical locations, with franchises being set up in specific cities, and with arrangements for revenue sharing in place. This is different to how most esports teams have been set up in the past, with teams really being esports companies, with little or no connection to any specific localities. Plans for revenue sharing until 2021 are also in place. It has been reported that teams must pay $20 million to participate.
That has all changed with this Overwatch esports league. With ownership of the franchises not restricted to esports organisations, many traditional sports owners and conglomerates have bought into the league. Perhaps the best known of these is Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots NFL team. What will therefore be unsurprising, is that the Kraft Group owns the New England franchise, Overwatch Boston.
Elsewhere in the USA, the San Francisco Shock and Dallas Fuel will represent northern California and Texas, respectively. There are also teams in Houston, Philadelphia, Miami-Orlando, New York, and two teams in LA. These American teams are joined by the only European franchise, in London, as well as a team from China, the Shanghai Dragons, and a franchise from South Korea, Team Seoul. Famous sports entrepreneurs Stan and Josh Kroenke own one of the LA teams. More traditional esports organisations such as Team EnVyUs, who own the Dallas team, are also involved. Optic Gaming own the Houston franchise too. Comcast Spectator, the owner of the Philadelphia franchise, is known for owning ice hockey franchise Philadelphia Flyers. Esports teams Immortals operate the other LA franchise to the Kroenkes.
The Kroenkes are behind some big mainstream sports organisations, in the shape of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles Rams. British esports fans may be familiar with them through their association with Premier League football team Arsenal. NRG Esports are the power behind the San Francisco franchise, while Misfits, another name familiar to esports fans, are operating the Miami-Orlando team. In London, Cloud9 will operate the team. The Asian teams are also backed by some names which will be familiar to esports fans. NetEase are backing the Shanghai Dragons. Gaming entrepreneurs Kevin Chou, Kent Wakeford and Phillip Hyun provide the financial and administrative muscle behind Seoul’s team. There are many advantages to this model of team ownership. With each team having a home base, they can run better structured ticketing, merchandising and PR campaigns, aimed more at local populations rather than just general esports fans.
New players are signing to the teams in the league all the time, with the new season looking set to make a real splash when it starts in January. Some teams have been more active than others when it comes to recruiting stars, but every franchise looks set to have a roster packed with explosive talent, ready for when the big kick off arrives.
One Swedish star who will be appearing the league is André "iddqd" Dahlström. Recognised as one of the world’s best players when it comes to playing as McCree, the former hotel security guard will be starring for the San Francisco Shock in the league. Overwatch fans will be keen to see how he performs when the pressure is on.
Another player who will be appearing for the Shock is Spaniard Daniel 'dhaK' Martinez Paz, whose signature hero is Lucio. He was part of the Spain team which came in 3rd/4th at the Sydney Qualifier for the 2017 Overwatch World Cup. He also won the Overwatch Rumble for May 2017, while playing for Cloud9. It will be interesting to see him compete in the world’s premier Overwatch league.
Meanwhile, over in Seoul, the new team have made some key acquisitions when it comes to recruitment. The whole team is South Korean, and there are some strong links to the Lunatic-Hai esports team. In-Jae 'EscA' Kim is a key recruit. Known for his ability to play as McCree and Mei, the 26-year-old will be looking to transfer his strong reputation across to the new league season. One of EscA’s team-mates at the new Seoul franchise will be Jin-Mo ‘tobi’ Yang. The 23-year-old, another former member of Lunatic-Hai, is known for his skills as a player of Lucio, and he attracted notice from fans and pundits alike with his performance in the Seoul Cup – OGN Super Match. He helped Lunatic-Hai to a 3-1 win over Cloud9 Kong Doo in that event.
Meanwhile, down in Texas, Dallas Fuel have been building a roster with depth and skill in abundance. The team is multi-national, but one American on the team is Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned. The 25-year-old was previously known as a player of Team Fortress 2, where he became famed for his play as a roamer, and, indeed, was seen by many as one of the greatest to ever play the game in that role. A popular Overwatch streamer on Twitch TV, Seagull is sure to be keen to put down a marker in the new league. He will certainly attract attention from fans of Overwatch League betting, keen to win some money on the back of his achievements.
These Overwatch league legends are sure to pull the fans in, as they also press claims for places in the World Cup. Team owners are also sure to want to add to and improve their rosters over the course of the coming season, so it is well worth punters keeping a close eye on how the transfer system works out in the new league.
Fans of Overwatch League betting will find plenty of markets available for their OW bets. By far the simplest of these is to bet on match results, with good odds set to be available. Handicap betting, where teams are given plus or minus score, and need to score more or less than that figure in terms of points, are also popular esports markets.
In-play betting on live matches is also set to be very popular. There are a number of live markets on which punters can place their OW bets. Betting on the number of kills a certain player makes is always fun, while you can also bet on the winners of the next map, or how many points a player will collect, are also good possibilities.
It is also possible to bet using accumulators, which are a great way of betting on favourites. An accumulator is a type of bet where the punter makes several selections on the same betting slip. If the first selection wins, then the winnings are used as the stake for the second bet, and so on down the coupon. All the odds are also multiplied together, which means that you can still gain good levels of winnings from a series of short odds bets.
Due to the format of the new Overwatch League, betting using accumulators becomes very simple. Combining bets on all six fixtures of a typical match round can be a great way of betting on the competition. Six favourites winning can also bring in a decent amount of cash as winnings when you use an accumulator.