The Overwatch League has proved to be a gigantic success, and Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the Overwatch League grand finals will be held in the New York City. The last stages of the competition are set for the next week, while the grand finals will take place on July 27-28 at the Barclays Center in New York.
The regular season games took place at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, which has a capacity of around 1,000 seats. The playoffs will also be held at the Blizzard Arena. But the finals will take place at the 19,000-seater Barclays Center, which is home to the New York Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets. Come July, two teams will battle it out at the Barclays Center for the Overwatch League title and a $1.4 million prize money.
The regular season is set to end on June 17th. After that, six teams will move forward to the post-season, which begins on July 11th. Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer said in a statement that the grand finals “will be an epic experience for fans and viewers.” On July 27-28, two finalists will compete for a $1.4 million prize pool. Nanzer said, “We want this to be the pinnacle of esports.”
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Holding the grand finals in the New York City will not only help Blizzard Entertainment celebrate the two best teams, but also the partners, fans, and players who have been part of the journey. Tickets for the first two rounds of the post-season will go on sale on May 10 at 9 AM PT via AXS.com. Tickets for the grand finals will be available via Barclays website and Ticketmaster from May 18 at 10 AM ET. You can also buy tickets at the American Express box office starting May 19.
Which teams are in the running? New York Excelsior is currently the top team with a 27-3 record. A quick look at the season scoreboard suggests that Boston Uprising is close behind at 22-8. It is followed by London Spitfire at 20-10, Seoul Dynasty at 19-11, and Los Angeles Valiant at 18-12. The Philadelphia Fusion is also at 18-12. We should expect some shakeups considering the way Stage 4 is shaping up.
The Overwatch League has received a lot of attention on Twitch. Its viewership topped 10 million in the opening week, and averaged 408,000 viewers per minute during the matches. Blizzard and Twitch expect record levels of viewership during the grand finals on July 27 and 28. The viewership has been waning recently, reports the Esports Observer. The concurrent viewership of the New York Excelsior vs Boston Uprising was only around 144,000.
Overwatch is a first-person shooter game that was released in 2016. The title has proved to be a blockbuster, generating over $1 billion in revenues for Blizzard Entertainment. The Overwatch League debuted in January this year, and all the regular season matches are held at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. If you are in Los Angeles, and want to watch a match in person, the tickets cost $30 on weekends and $20 on weekdays. Blizzard Entertainment has signed a $90 million deal with Twitch to stream the Overwatch League matches.
Separately, Overwatch League has announced a partnership with the social virtual reality platform Sansar to offer 3D experience to its fans. Sansar will allow players to interact with fans in virtual spaces. The social VR platform claims to have partnered with multiple Overwatch League teams including the San Francisco Shock and the Houston Outlaws. The initiative is a response to the demand for “esports and memorable fan experiences.”
Users can already livestream a player’s point-of-view in Twitch and start a conversation with them via chats. But Sansar will take the interaction to a whole new level via a “virtual clubhouse.” It would transport you into the same virtual rooms as your favorite players. Sarsar told fans that its VR experiences will be on-par with real-life events. You’ll have the opportunity to take virtual photos, and there will be meet-and-greets for fans.
The Houston Outlaws plan to launch their virtual clubhouse “Hideout” in Houston, Texas on May 18th. The San Francisco Shock will also hold a launch event on May 25 in California for their VR clubhouse “Epicenter.” Fans will be able to attend the event via virtual reality.