Nate Nanzer, commissioner of the Overwatch League, told Overwatch community website Heroes Never Die in an interview that he is in the stages of planning for a type of fantasy league for Overwatch League.
“Wagering is not something that we’re considering,” he said, talking about betting on which team will win on which day. “Fantasy has obviously proven to be something that fans love in traditional sports and are a great driver of engagement. We’re definitely looking into something like that.”
Fantasy leagues have been a long time staple of traditional sports, as viewers can draft actual professionals into their fantasy teams and compete against other fantasy rosters using the statistics generated by tournament results. This has also been picked up by esports as well, with Riot Games having its own fantasy league for its League of Legends Championship Series, and online services like Draft Kings also jumped into fantasy esports, where participants can bet and win money.
As revenue generated by fantasy leagues hosted outside of the organizers tend to not go to the games’ developers themselves, it seems like Blizzard is looking to create and in-house fantasy system where players can participate while Blizzard generates further revenue. Nanzer said that the idea is “for next year or the year after,” and that a long-term vision is currently being utilized.
The first seven owners and cities for Overwatch League were revealed Wednesday after months of silence, and interest surrounding the Overwatch League is at a fever pitch once again.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard