Overwatch League team skins will provide revenue for franchises

The Overwatch League has announced that team skins will be available for purchase in-game early next year. It has also been revealed that each team will receive a cut of their respective virtual jersey sales. 

Interestingly, the jerseys will be purchasable for any of the 26 heroes in the game and the skins are being removed from the current Overwatch general lootbox system whereby players will open chests with the chance to unlock items from common to legendary rarity. 

Nate Nanzer, Commissioner of the Overwatch League stated in a video: “to ensure that the correct amount from your league related purchases go towards the teams, we’ve developed a separate league token system for these items. League tokens will only be used for OWL in-game content”. He added “You will be able to use them to buy the exact skins you want”.

Each Overwatch user who logs in in the month following the launch of the skins will receive enough tokens to purchase one skin for themselves. The details remain scant, however. Many people that play Overwatch play multiple heroes and it’s unclear at present whether purchasing a team’s jersey will allow you to wear the colours across all of your heroes or it will only count for one. 

It’s likely that each individual item will be monetised with a potential “season” pass being offered with the kit for each hero unlockable by purchasing a bigger bundle which will cost considerably more. One would also assume that when compared to traditional jersey prices, the virtual jerseys will cost considerably less. The video only teases the concept and doesn’t yet give intricate details of how the system is set to work.

The Overwatch League will finally get underway in just over a months time in the new year. 12 teams will compete in Los Angeles in the inaugural season of a competition that has already drawn an alarming amount of attention considering it has not even started. Buy-ins of $20 million have been flung around and large traditional sports organisations have entered the space. Scepticism remains over proof of concept and the watch-ability of Overwatch, but recent improvements to spectator experience have alleviated some of the aforementioned fears.

Esports Insider says: Smart move from Blizzard, and given the recent lootbox controversey it’s probably sensible that they’ve made it so you can purchase specific jerseys. Then again, it makes sense. Imagine buying a “Premier League” lootbox and you get given a random jersey.. that’s not quite how it works. We’ll be keeping an eye out come January.