Overwatch League Viewership Surprises With Smashing First Week Results
Viewership for the first week of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League has been a smash success, far surpassing industry projections.
The MLS launches their own FIFA 18 esports league with EA Sports
The MLS announced they are launching their own esports league (in conjunction with EA Sports) around FIFA 18. The league will be called the eMLS and will feature top players from the US and Canada. 19 of the 23 MLS clubs will feature teams in the eMLS and the league will begin with the eMLS Cup at PAX East in April. The winner will move on to the FIFA 18 Global Series and, if successful, then to the FIFA eWorld Cup. Each team will only be allowed to have 1 player represent them.
First, I would like to quickly say that I wish these leagues would do a deeper dive with branding and not just add a lowercase ‘e’ in front of everything. The NBA did this initially with their 2K league (known then as the NBA eLeague) and quickly rebranded to the NBA 2K League.
Additional details about the league will be released in the coming weeks but the MLS now joins the NBA and NFL in having their own esports leagues (will the MLB and NHL make a move?) Given that FIFA is the most popular sports video game franchise, the MLS is joining an already established esports infrastructure that includes the FIFA 18 Global Series and the FIFA eWorld Cup. This is a smart move by the MLS to further establish themselves on the world soccer stage while using FIFA 18 as a platform to build further awareness for their clubs/players to international markets. Many questions remain but is abundantly clear now that if you are a traditional sports league and you don’t have an esports strategy, you are missing out on an excellent opportunity to engage new and younger fans across various platforms.