The Overwatch League teams have united to start a legal battle for lost revenue following several bleak years.
The Overwatch League has seen some difficult years. Due to the global lockdown and the transfer of broadcasting rights from Twitch to YouTube, OWL owners have seen viewership steadily decline despite paying exorbitant fees for franchises.
Revenues have decreased as a result, and the situation only seems direr given that the FTC is currently trying to stop Microsoft’s takeover of Activision’s parent firm. Overwatch and its esports league have not been in a solid position over the past three years as a result of everything put together. Additionally, the OWL teams’ owners are getting impatient.
Teams in the Overwatch League Will Start Bargaining Collectively
Owners of the OWL clubs have contacted the British media and technology legal firm Sheridans to start the process of engaging in collective bargaining, as Jacob Wolf has extensively documented.
The purpose of the aforementioned collective bargaining, according to Wolf’s report, is “to award the teams some form of economic relief to promote sustainability after each franchise spent between $7.5 and $10 million in franchise payments over the past six years, as well as more than $1 million in operating costs each year to maintain their teams.”
It makes sense that owners would be looking for a new means to stabilize their operating costs given the current unpredictability in and around the Overwatch League. The timing, as previously mentioned, could not be worse for Activision.
The recent release of Overwatch 2 raised hopes that fan interest in the Overwatch League would increase again, but this latest push for collective bargaining doesn’t seem to suggest that the league’s owners are optimistic about the league’s future.
According to Wolf, negotiations are still in the early stages, and if collective bargaining is unsuccessful, there is no evidence that this may turn into a full-fledged lawsuit. OWL supporters will continue to closely monitor the league’s future for the time being.