ESPN reports suggest that tournament organiser Rivalcade has sold three franchise spots for $1 million apiece as they look to launch the “Esports Battle League”, a geolocated league that “hopes to feature a multitude of esports titles”.
The three commitments come from Elevate, Circa and Simplicity. Elevate will be based in Denver, with Circa taking Miami and Simplicity taking Vegas. None of the aforementioned organisations have made names for themselves in the biggest of esports, but have had players in the FGC as well as HotS, Smite and Call of Duty but to name a few.
The report also states that the league will look for 3-5 further investors before launching. Interestingly – or bizarrely – the games in which the leagues will be competed is, as of yet, undecided. The ESPN report suggests that the organisers are looking at titles “such as” Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Smite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Injustice 2, FIFA 18 and Paladins.
It’s a very long list of game titles to be “considered” and it’s fairly surprising that a league has managed to secure such investment with very scant detail. The only information revealed is that it will take a city based approach – but broadcast format, game titles, location of broadcast and requirements are unknown.
Franchising in esports has become infinitely more popular, with the Overwatch League and North American League of Legends Championship Series both getting underway recently and proving successful. As of yet, the Overwatch League is the only geolocated franchise system but we don’t have to hark back too far to remember CGS – an experiment that ultimately came far too early for esports and did not end well at all.
Esports Insider says: One would hope that the investors know what they’re in for here. With such scant detail revealed, it seems a tad risky – but we’ll have to await further announcements. Good luck, as always, to those involved.