Overwatch announces dates for Lunar New Year event - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch announces dates for Lunar New Year event

Published: 15/Jan/2020 19:39

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch will be kicking off its 2020 Lunar New Year event sooner than anyone expected, as revealed by a surprise announcement on Twitter.

The Lunar New Year celebration is always scheduled as the first event of the year after Winter Wonderland, which only just ended on January 2.

Fans are usually given a few days warning before things kick off, but Blizzard apparently decided to surprise everyone by dropping the news right before it begins.

Blizzard Entertainment
A new event means new skins for players to collect.

Overwatch announced via Twitter on January 15 that the 2020 Lunar New Year event would begin the next day on January 16 and run through February 5.

Lunar New Year, like all events in Overwatch, brings new skins and cosmetics for heroes that players can collect – but Blizzard hasn’t shared any hints on what to expect for new goodies at the time of writing.

The announcement video does feature Hanzo releasing some sky lanterns, which could possibly be a new highlight intro, or nothing more than fluff.

A potential hint that Lunar New Year was coming soon could have been under our noses this whole time in the form of the Capture the Flag game mode appearing in Arcade this week.

Overwatch’s CTF was originally introduced along with Lunar New Year, so it will be interesting to see if there are any changes – or even a new map for 2020.

While a completely new map may be a little ambitious, there’s also the possibility of an existing map getting a Lunar New Year makeover, as seen on LiJiang Tower and Busan.

Blizzard Entertainment
Capture the flag is one of the highlights of Lunar New Year in Overwatch.

As previously stated, Overwatch’s Lunar New Year event for 2020 runs from January 16 to February 5, giving players just over 2 weeks to collect all of the cosmetics and skins they want.

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

Share


Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.