Immortals completes sale of Outlaws Overwatch League franchise - Dexerto
Overwatch

Immortals completes sale of Outlaws Overwatch League franchise

Published: 15/Nov/2019 2:09

by Isaac McIntyre

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Immortals Gaming Club has confirmed the sale of their second Overwatch League franchise team the Houston Outlaws to Beasley Broadcast Group, a radio broadcasting organization with more than 65 stations across America.

Immortals acquired the Outlaws franchise following the purchase of Infinite Esports & Entertainment in June of this year. The overall sale cost $100 million, five times as much as Infinite originally paid to join Activision-Blizzard’s franchise competition.

Due to IGC’s ownership of another OWL entity, the Los Angeles Valiant, Blizzard ordered the collective gaming company to sell the Houston franchise. 

The move appeared complete in July, with real estate mogul Lee Zieben purchasing the Outlaws for a reported $40 million, according to ESPN. That agreement fell through for undisclosed reasons, however, leaving Beasley Broadcast Group free to purchase the competitive Overwatch team five months later.

According to Forbes, the November 14 deal transferring ownership of the Houston Outlaws from IGC to the Beasley Broadcast Group is worth $35 million.

Blizzard EntertainmentThe Outlaws will be adjusting to new management in the 2020 season.

The company’s chief executive officer Caroline Beasley confirmed that the Outlaws would still remain based in Texas, would retain its locale-based branding, and would “continue to represent the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets.”

“The Houston Outlaws represent a rare investment opportunity, as there are only 20 Overwatch League teams in the world, and the transaction partners Beasley with Blizzard Entertainment and its parent company, Activision Blizzard,” she explained.

“We look forward to initial contributions from this exciting development when the league’s third season begins in February.

“We believe the power of our media footprint, will allow us to build the value of the Outlaws franchise through a range of revenue sources, including ticket sales, advertising, sponsorship, licensing, e-commerce, and other partnerships.”

Blizzard EntertainmentThe Outlaws are one of the league’s twelve founding franchises.

This purchase isn’t Beasley’s first move in the esports market either — the radio conglomerate already owns investment shares in Renegades, which competes in Fortnite Battle Royale, Rocket League, Smite, Paladins, and Super Smash Bros.

The North American-based esports team is also expected to return to the competitive Counter-Strike circuit in the near future, following the high-profile sale of their Australian roster to Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag’s 100 Thieves.

StarLadderRenegades competed in CS:GO until the recent sale of its roster.

Houston finished 7th in the OWL’s inaugural season, before regressing to finish 16th in 2019 with a 9-19 record. The team participated in this year’s Stage 3 playoffs, where they finished 5-8th after being ousted 3-0 by the Vancouver Titans.

The Outlaws will host their first homestand series on February 29 to March 1 at the Revention Music Center, as the league moves to home-and-away festival-like weekends for the 2020 season. They will face London Spitfire and Toronto Defiant.

With new owners, the Outlaws may look to dip into the open market to upgrade on their current playing roster and make an immediate impact in the league. Keep track of all the OWL offseason moves with Dexerto’s dedicated roster tracker.

Overwatch

Why an Overwatch 2 delay could be a blessing in disguise

Published: 17/Jan/2021 23:38 Updated: 17/Jan/2021 23:41

by Bill Cooney

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We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever on Overwatch 2 and everyone wants to see big news at BlizzConline 2021. But if we don’t get a release date, we shouldn’t be treating it like the end of the world.

The hype around Overwatch 2 was incredible when the first trailer and gameplay were revealed at BlizzCon 2019 but, after that, it steadily died down to little more than background noise with no official updates or news whatsoever coming from Jeff Kaplan and the team since.

Really, it’s only coming back on everyone’s radar because of BlizzConline, the online replacement for the canceled 2020 convention starting on February 19. Of course, we don’t know anything about what’s officially going to be covered there, but so far people have been saying we could see anything from just a few shots of new heroes, maps, and other content, all the way to a full-on release date.

But, drawing a line in the sand with a set date could be one of the worst things to do to the game before it even comes out.

Everyone obviously wants to play a good game day one on release, but, we’ve all come to expect to be drip-fed information on the newest upcoming titles at every stage, and to know roughly when they’re coming out. This hasn’t happened for Overwatch 2, and to say people are starting to get anxious over it would be arriving very late to the party.

The way it works though is if a game has a set release date from developers of publishers, then it becomes news when or if that date gets delayed or pushed back, and you better believe the pitchforks will come out on Twitter when people find out they’ll have longer to wait.

You may have seen where this is going, but take Cyberpunk 2077 for example — from E3 through the lead-up to the release (which was delayed multiple times) we were shown video after video of incredible-looking gameplay and promised an immersive, futuristic world to get lost in. We got neither.

Instead, most of us got a bug-filled mess that barely worked unless you had a high-end PC or the latest gen console, and even then it still didn’t deliver everything that was promised. It was so bad, Sony even pulled it from the PlayStation store. Now, just imagine that happening to Overwatch.

Overwatch 2 concept art
Blizzard Entertainment
Concept art, screenshots, trailers, and a bit of gameplay are basically all we’ve had to tide us over since 2019.

Not to say Jeff and the Overwatch team aren’t capable of delivering an amazing product — they’ve proven they can do that already — but for the sequel to be the best that it can be, they should take all the time they need. We all want to play OW2 ASAP, but if they need to hold off on a release date a while longer to avoid a broken, buggy joke, then so be it.

“I don’t know, I have no idea,” Kaplan said about a release date all the way back at BlizzCon 2019. “Just let us make it great, that’s all we care about more than anything, we don’t have a date in mind.”

That kind of thinking might be a bit of what endears Jeff to the community, as someone who worked on World of Warcraft when today’s “Classic” was just the entire game, he’s one of the last links to the “old Blizzard,” one that even had its own definition of the word “soon™” coined by fans, which is good to keep in mind as we continue to wait for Overwatch 2.

“Soon™: Copyright pending 2004-2021 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. “Soon™” does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. “Soon” shall make no contract or warranty between Blizzard Entertainment and the end-user. “Soon” will arrive some day, Blizzard does guarantee that “soon” will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on “soon” as Blizzard will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at “soon.”