Blizzard Entertainment announced that a major new brand-marketing partner has signed on to support the Overwatch league during its inaugural season: multinational automative manufacturer Toyota. This partnership marks the first time Toyota has partnered with an esports league.
The Overwatch League is further supported by sponsors HP and Intel, with players competing on cutting-edge gaming hardware including HP’s OMEN gaming PCs, powered by the latest Intel Core i7 processors.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Toyota to the Overwatch League,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division. “When we were building the league, our desire was to create a premium experience for players and fans, and partners like Toyota are helping us do just that.”
As part of the partnership, Toyota and the Overwatch League plan to develop an exclusive series called Access Granted that will present behind-the-scenes content to the community, centered around the unique journey of the esports athlete.
The series, produced by Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division, will air featured clips in live matches that promote the series. The featured clips will include players driving Toyota vehicles to and from the competition at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, where all regular-season games of Overwatch League will take place.
“Toyota is excited to be a launch partner of the Overwatch League,” said Steven Curtis, Vice President, media & engagement marketing for Toyota Motor North America.” We love the passion of esports fans, and the goal of our partnership is to help take the Overwatch League and the fan experience to the next level.”
The Toyota C-HR will have on-site presence at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and media placements surrounding Overwatch League.
Overwatch League has twelve teams, each with their own logos and colors. Sports teams have uniforms that are unique to their team, with variations that are used for either home or away games. As such, Overwatch League has in-game uniforms that are designed for each esports team. Players will be able to purchase the in-game uniforms of their choice with special currency.
Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer revealed in a video details about how Overwatch League home-team uniforms will be made available in-game in early 2018. All 12 home skins for the teams will be added to Overwatch.
The Overwatch League skins can be purchased with special currency called League Tokens. Players will need to spend real-world currency in order to obtain League Tokens. This system is being used as a way to provide monetary support for the various regional teams.
Purchase the home skin of your favorite Overwatch League team, and some of that money will go to support them. In short, Blizzard found a way to share a portion of the home skin purchases with the teams that they are based on. The League Tokens can only be used to buy Overwatch League in-game content.
In the video, Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer announced that, for the first month after the League Token system is launched globally, Blizzard will provide players who log in to Overwatch on PC, Playstation IV, or Xbox One, with enough League Tokens to purchase their first Overwatch League skin.
The Overwatch League consists of nine teams that are located around the globe. Andy Miller is the Chairman and Founder of NRG ESports, which is the Overwatch League team based in San Francisco. NRG Esports has signed a teenage Overwatch pro player for $150K.
Jay “sinatraa” Won is 17-years-old and a North American Overwatch star. ESPN reported that “sinatraa” signed a $150,000 per-year-contract with NRG ESports and has joined NRG’s Overwatch League roster. His mother had to sign the agreement because Jay “sinatraa” Won is a minor.
His salary is $100,000 per-year above the league minimum, with revenue-sharing options available. He, and his future teammates, are entitled to 50 percent of team bonuses, per Overwatch League rules.
On August 9, 2017, NRG eSports announced that Brad Rajani would be the new head coach for NRG’s Overwatch League team. The same announcement stated that Seamus “Seamoose” Anderson would be moving from his position as coach of NRG’s Overwatch squad.
Brad Rajani was formerly co-owner of Selfless Gaming, where he was a coach. Selfless Gaming disbanded on July 7, 2017. Jay “sinatraa” Won left Selfless Gaming when it disbanded. Now, “sinatraa” has reunited with his former coach.
Jay “sinatraa” Won is considered one of the best North American DPS players. He competed as part of the North American Overwatch World Cup team. That team will compete at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, on November 3-4, 2017, with an opening match against South Korea.
The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league. Overwatch was created by Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision-Blizzard). Previously, The Overwatch League announced the first seven teams. Now, they have announced two additional teams.
The two newly announced teams include:
- Jack Etienne, founder of esports organization Cloud9 (London)
- Stan and Josh Kroenke, owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles)
The original announcement of team owners included:
- Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
- Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterming.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
- Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
- Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
- Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
- NetEase (Shanghai)
- Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam (Seoul)
The Overwatch League now includes teams from Asia, Europe, and North American – including two teams for Los Angeles. The official player signing window started on August 1, 2017, and will end on October 30, 2017. All Overwatch League teams will be able to sign players to contracts during that timeframe, including teams that join the League during the signing window.