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Overwatch League strikes a milestone deal with Disney and ESPN

If you’re sick of hearing about esports, you need to get over it. The space continues to grow, inching its way into the traditional media landscape. Today, in fact, Activision Blizzard announced that the Overwatch League playoffs will be aired on ESPN and Disney XD. The Overwatch League in itself is a huge step for esports , as it’s the first true city-based league for a competitive video game. While most esports leagues are comprised of privately owned teams with little or nothing to do with geography, Overwatch League is a pro league made up of city-based teams such as the Dallas Fuel or the San Francisco Shock. Many of these teams are owned by big names in the traditional sports world, such as Robert Kraft (CEO and owner of New England Patriots, who owns the Boston Uprising) and Jeff Wilpon (COO of the New York Mets, who owns the New York Excelsior). The agreement, which also includes a recap/highlights package from 2018 Grand Finals coverage on ABC on July 29, marks the first time that live competitive gaming has aired on ESPN in primetime, and will be the first broadcast of an eSports championship on ABC. Activision Blizzard said in the announcement that this is just the start of a multi-year agreement. That said, EA’s Madden NFL 18 did broadcast an e-sports tournament on ESPN2 and Disney XD earlier this year. Overwatch League playoffs begin tonight at 8pm ET, and will culminate in the Grand Finals, taking place in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on July 27 and July 28.

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Overwatch League strikes a milestone deal with Disney and ESPN

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