Tech leaders HP Inc. and Intel today joined forces with Blizzard Entertainment in major Overwatch League sponsorship deals that represent an extended investment in the groundbreaking professional league. As part of the multiyear agreements, Intel will sponsor future Overwatch competitive events in addition to the Overwatch League.
Players taking part in these events will be equipped with cutting-edge gaming hardware from both HP and Intel. HP, and more specifically, its OMEN by HP gaming PCs and displays will be used exclusively for Overwatch League games, with PCs powered by Intel® Core i7 processors.
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with HP and Intel to ensure that the teams competing professionally in Overwatch are equipped with top-end technology,” said Pete Vlastelica, president & CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s Major League Gaming division. “Multiyear collaborations such as this illustrate the momentum behind the Overwatch League as well as a long-term commitment by us and our partners in what we see as the future of esports.”
“Working with Blizzard Entertainment as a global technology partner of the Overwatch League is the perfect way to celebrate esports talent and showcase our hardware within the competitive gaming arena,” said Alex Craddock, global head of marketing, personal systems at HP Inc. “OMEN hardware has been widely adopted by many of the world’s top esports professionals, and we’re thrilled to help power the gameplay for the Overwatch League.”
“For more than 12 years Intel has consistently supported the esports community and we’re always looking for ways to help improve how they play, watch, and compete. We’re proud to sponsor the Overwatch League and equip all competition PCs with Intel® Core™ i7 processors to contribute to a great experience for fans and competitors,” said John Bonini, VP and general manager of the VR, gaming, and esports group, Intel. “The Overwatch League will be a great showcase for esports, and we’re excited to be a part of it with Blizzard.”
The Overwatch League represents a unique opportunity for sponsors, with a city-based structure that supports engagement and a deeper connection to local fan bases around the world. Esports have already captured the attention of more than 280 million people worldwide—a community that includes some of the hardest-to-reach and most sought-after demographics, including a share of millennials two to three times higher than any of the “Big Four” US sports. The Overwatch League is based around Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster hit Overwatch, which quickly became the company’s fastest-growing game following its release last year and recently reached a new milestone of 35 million players.
The inaugural season of the Overwatch League begins with the first regular season match on January 10, 2018, and runs until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. Preseason play will begin next month, on December 6, with a series of exhibition matches featuring the inaugural 12 teams. All Overwatch League preseason and regular-season games for 2018 will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, California, custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events. Information on Overwatch League ticket sales will be announced in the coming weeks.