Oct 26 2015 - 8:20 pm

Tempo Storm approached two of the top Team Fortress 2 teams ahead of Overwatch launch

The closed beta for Blizzard’s upcoming shooter Overwatch has yet to begin, but already some big esports franchises are trying to sign teams ahead of what promises to be a big competitive title
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The closed beta for Blizzard’s upcoming shooter Overwatch has yet to begin, but already some big esports franchises are trying to sign teams ahead of what promises to be a big competitive title.

Rising esports franchise Tempo Storm made an offer to the top Team Fortress 2 in the world, and discussed terms with another, the Daily Dot has learned.

Tempo Storm first approached the winningest team in Team Fortress 2, Froyotech, which is captained by the most decorated player in the game, Grant “b4nny” Vincent. The team and its incarnations have nine ESEA championships (the highest level competition in North America) to their name. More recently, they took the crown of the best team in the world by winning the i55 in the United Kingdom in August.

Tempo Storm offered a two-year deal to Froyotech that promises better stream monetization (like a higher percentage of subscription revenue) through Tempo Storm’s deal with Twitch. No base salary was included, just pay incentives should certain performance goals be met.

That’s a low risk and high reward deal for the franchise. If the team they sign doesn’t perform, it costs them essentially nothing. But if the team does work out, it locks up top tier talent for two years at a cheap price ahead of a game that has potential to be a huge esport.

It’s no surprise that Froyotech, a team that should be well positioned to succeed in Overwatch, turned the deal down.

Tempo Storm later contacted European super team Reason Gaming on Twitch with a salutations that promised “full salary,” but the European team wasn’t willing to continue the conversation because the two year deal offered to Froyotech was a non-starter to them. And that makes sense: if the game explodes and the team is successful, the players will be locked into a bum deal. On the same token, it's a prudent move for Tempo Storm to sign potential talent ahead of a game that promises to have a bright esports future—especially after news hit last week that Activision Blizzard was going all-in with a dedicated esports division at their company

Players from Team Fortress 2, the game that’s most similar to Overwatch in terms of gameplay and one that’s featured a small, but robust, esports scene for nearly a decade may be a good or even the best bet for success heading into Overwatch’s release. But there’s no way to know just who will become the best players and teams. A team can’t offer a better deal with so much uncertainty in the game’s future.

Still, it’s a big vote of confidence in Overwatch’s esports future that organizations are already starting to reach out to players. It’s no secret that Tempo Storm owner and founder Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk himself is a big Overwatch believer, and there’s a huge crowd of top competitive players from games like Team Fortress 2 and Quake eagerly awaiting the game’s release. Though his timing may be a little early: We’ll get the first real taste of what Overwatch will be like as a competitive title on Tuesday Oct. 27, when the game’s beta begins.

Image via Blizzard

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