Overwatch League will eventually have a fantasy sports element, according to league commissioner Nate Nanzer.
“Fantasy have obviously proven to be something that fans love in traditional sports and are a great driver of engagement,” Nanzer told Overwatch site Heroes Never Die. “We’re definitely looking into something like that.” Nanzer added that wagering money on the fantasy league is not something Blizzard is considering, however.
Traditional fantasy sports games have players drafting real players to fake teams. Players track players’ real statistical performance—like points scored, for instance—and win weeks based on real life results. Fantasy sports are a billion dollar industry, though it’s been controversial for its gambling elements.
The Overwatch League is being built to last. As part of that, Blizzard wants to develop content and ancillary products alongside the League to increase fan engagement.
“I think we’ll have more details as the league progresses,” Nanzer said. “I think something that’s important to keep in mind is we’re not setting out to build this league for next year or the year after. Our view is that we’re building a forever league and looking for partners who want to build something long-term with us. Fantasy is something that we definitely have on our long-term roadmap as being part of the league.”
League of Legends developer Riot Games operates its own successful fantasy league, and Fantasy LCS is a major point of fan engagement. Fans and players are now not only playing the game and watching its esports matches, but investing time in drafting and managing fantasy teams, too.
Overwatch’s fantasy league is in the early planning stages, so it’s unlikely we’ll see it go live with the league’s launch later this year.