Esports owners, executives react to Microsoft's Activision deal: 'We are definitely surprised'

Washington Post - Technology News 

Since 2015, Activision Blizzard has attempted to become the destination for competitive gaming by launching a potentially groundbreaking city-based franchise structure based on the model in traditional sports leagues. Activision sold franchise slots for upward of $20 million apiece around Overwatch and Call of Duty, two of its biggest titles, that granted owners exclusive access to local markets across North America, China, Europe and South Korea. After getting the Overwatch League off the ground in 2018, the company set an ambitious timeline to host live Overwatch competitions in front of thousands of fans across the three continents and then quickly moved on to launch the Call of Duty League in similar fashion. But, for the past two years, the pandemic has forced both leagues to dash those plans and largely move competitions online.