Activision Blizzard gets esports right; other companies are getting it wrong
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Activision Blizzard gets esports right; other companies are getting it wrong

Esports is undoubtedly going to be a major force in the video games sector going forward – but we’re just at the start of it. And it’s notable that despite the critical mass building up behind the pastime, early forays into it have met with certain criticisms.

Amongst these are the overlooking of commercial needs for League of Legends teams by developer and publisher Riot Games, as well as a lack of balance in terms of visibility between games, and reliance on public money. Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League will be the solution to these teething problems, putting the company in a fantastic position to become a major player.

Activision Blizzard’s share price has risen by 67% so far this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Activision’s Overwatch League has a structure that prioritises players’ financial security; it supports local teams with no threat of relegation, meaning that fan-bases can build up and become durable; and it’s offering impressive prizes in tandem with a list of big investors. It’s also involving professional sports gurus to help it iron out any problems that appear.

Explaining the appeal of esports for the company, Mike Sepso, who’s leading the charge at Activision, said:

"It's a generational wave that's happening. For the first time, just over a year ago, ESPN actually lost subscribers; that's never happened before. The Yankees, my hometown baseball team, are significantly below last year on ticket sales. Things are happening to traditional sports that nobody expected, and quicker than anybody in that business expected.

"This is not just a major change for Activision Blizzard and how it has handled esports for a long time. It's a major change for the whole industry."

Disclosure

Dominion holds Activision Blizzard in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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