The news is out that Activision Blizzard will let Overwatch League and Call of Duty League teams get more time to pay their franchise fees. This is because of the coronavirus pandemic and its negative effects on esports organizations.
On one hand, the Overwatch League is not done yet. The semifinals only ended around two weeks ago and the Grand Final Weekend starts on October 8. On the other hand, the Call of Duty League already crowned its champion in the Dallas Empire and broke many records. Despite the competitive environment attracting many fans, the economic situation of the CDL and OWL teams isn’t that great.
OWL and CDL Income
For competitive teams, a decent part of their incomes came from in-arena events. Sponsors pay more for physical visibility than an online presence. With the new social distancing rules in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, all of these events were canceled. Teams registered a lower income in both sponsoring, merchandising, and concessions in the process.
The CDL and OWL had the most ambitious traveling schedules in their histories. They needed to completely go back to the drawing board to figure things out. Fortunately for the esports industry, shifting major tournaments to an online format is not hard to do.
But even with that, it was obvious that all CDL and OWL teams would suffer a heavy loss of income. If the number of expenses stayed the same, teams would start the next season with crippling debts and no resources to operate their organizations. Activision Blizzard had to do something.
Activision Blizzard Delays Fees
In July, discussions were already on the table in order to find a solution to help. After all, the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League possess similar investors and owners. Activision Blizzard had to do something to prevent these ecosystems from collapsing since the majority of teams would not have the resources necessary to pay franchise fees.
Revealed yesterday, Activision Blizzard will allow teams from the Call of Duty and Overwatch League to delay their franchise fees. These franchise fees are supposed to be paid each year and amount to a portion of the original acquisition price. Now, all franchise teams will receive a choice of either paying it now as usual or delaying it for the future.
The coronavirus pandemic made 2020 a tough year for every industry. The esports industry was a part of the lucky ones, Thanks to an easily transferable ecosystem, esports got lucky. After a few tournament organizers took the risk of going online, it quickly became the standard. Activision Blizzard’s solution in the delay of franchise fees is a relevant solution that will relieve most teams.
Written by Charles FUSTER
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