Overwatch League™ Inaugural Season Begins Today

First major global professional city-based league opens new era in
eSports

Overwatch League to be broadcast on Twitch, in addition to
OverwatchLeague.com, MLG.com, the MLG app, and the new Overwatch League
companion app

IRVINE, Calif.–#OWL2018–The inaugural season of the Overwatch League kicks off
today, beginning an epic showdown between teams from some of the world’s
top sports and esports leaders—and the best Overwatch players on the
planet.

 

As the first major global professional esports league with competition
organized by cities, the launch of the Overwatch League is one of the
most hotly anticipated moments in esports. For the first season, 12
franchises are representing major cities in Asia, Europe, and North
America. The full list of teams and owners is:

  • Boston Uprising (Kraft Group)
  • Dallas Fuel (Team Envy)
  • Florida Mayhem (Misfits)
  • Houston Outlaws (OpTic Gaming)
  • London Spitfire (Cloud9)
  • Los Angeles Gladiators (Stan and Josh Kroenke)
  • Los Angeles Valiant (Immortals)
  • New York Excelsior (Jeff Wilpon and SterlingVC)
  • Philadelphia Fusion (Comcast Spectacor)
  • San Francisco Shock (NRG eSports)
  • Seoul Dynasty (Kevin Chou)
  • Shanghai Dragons (NetEase)

The teams met in combat for the first time during the preseason,
December 6–9. The first regular-season games will be played later today,
with the Pacific Division teams facing off: San Francisco Shock vs. Los
Angeles Valiant, Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Gladiators, and Dallas
Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty. The Atlantic Division teams take the stage at
the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles on Thursday.

“Connecting and engaging the world through epic entertainment is our
mission,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “The launch of
the Overwatch League will provide our very best professional players the
chance to inspire our engaged, connected audiences around the world.
January 10th is an historic day for esports and we are so grateful to
our team owners, our media partners, our sponsors, and most of all our
players for their pivotal role in the establishment of the Overwatch
League.”

“The Overwatch League was created to deliver an awesome and unique
experience for players, teams, and fans,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and
cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With 12 first-class teams
representing major cities from Asia, Europe, and North America, we’re
confident that the inaugural season of the league is going to redefine
what people expect from esports—and be a giant celebration of the
Overwatch® community as a whole.”

Viewers can tune in to catch all the action on Twitch, MLG.com and the
MLG app (on iOS and Android), OverwatchLeague.com, and the Overwatch
League companion app, which launched Monday for iOS and Android.
Blizzard players also will be given easy access to the Overwatch
League’s web presence via a new Overwatch League tab in the Blizzard
Battle.net Desktop App.

ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV are expected to be the official
broadcasting platforms of the Overwatch League in China, providing
livestreams, VODs, feature programs, and other exciting esports content
to Chinese audiences.

The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with
playoffs and finals scheduled for July. For the inaugural season, all
games will take place at Blizzard
Arena Los Angeles
, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank,
California, custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events.
Fans can purchase tickets to attend matches, which will be played each
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule
and information
about ticket sales
can be found at https://overwatchleague.com/.

The Overwatch community also will have new ways to join in the fun
around the league. Overwatch League team uniforms are now available to
purchase as in-game skins, giving fans a fun way to show their support
for their favorite teams. All players who log in between now and
February 13, 2018, will receive enough League Tokens to obtain a team
uniform of their choice free. Skins are available for all 12 teams, and
all 26 Overwatch characters, with 50% of the revenue from every
Overwatch League skin sold going toward a shared revenue pool for all
league teams.

The Overwatch League is 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.

About the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional
esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North
America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard
Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose
iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the
boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest
addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-one #1 games,[1]
Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with
memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most
engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the
Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE,
BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard
Entertainment, Inc.

[1] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and
reports from key distribution partners

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in
this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations,
plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including
statements about the dates, events and features of the Overwatch League,
are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number
of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard
Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those
expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release
include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the
risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report
on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The
forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information
available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the
date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision
Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking
statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may
ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of
the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard
and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which
are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially
from current expectations.


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