Overwatch League’s Launch Tests Videogames as Franchise Sport

Activision Blizzard faces challenges in turning its hit videogame into a mainstream spectator sport

Activision Blizzard Inc.’s “Overwatch” videogame league launches Wednesday, a crucial test of whether esports can join their traditional counterparts in the quest for eyeballs and advertising dollars.

By wrapping videogame contests in a format sports fans appreciate—city-based teams backed by familiar names from major U.S. organizations such as the National Football League—the company hopes it eventually can build a franchise that mirrors the success of professional athletics.

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