Sources close to both leagues told The Esports Observer that they’ll allow team sponsors from the “wagering and liquor business sectors.” This could create lucrative sponsorship opportunities that were previously unavailable.
This is a significant change from Activision Blizzard, the parent company of the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League. The company previously opposed sponsors from these sectors, but it’s reportedly now open to the idea.
The London Royal Ravens announced Midnite, an esports and sports betting website, as a new sponsor this morning. Other teams are likely exploring similar opportunities and it might not be long before a team announces a new liquor sponsor.
Bud Light previously sponsored the Overwatch League, but individual teams could not seek out alcohol or liquor sponsors, according to The Esports Observer. Bud Light was also the LCS’ official beer ahead of the 2020 Spring Split and alcohol or liquor sponsorships aren’t new in esports.
Betting is a staple of most esports and embracing betting sponsors will likely draw more Call of Duty and Overwatch fans into the betting market. Both leagues have not officially announced the changes to sponsorship opportunities, but London’s new sponsor is likely the first of many.