In a release Thursday, OverActive Media (TSXV: OAM, OTCQB: OAMCF) confirmed that all outstanding Overwatch League entry fees have been waived by Activision Blizzard. The company added that the “reversal of these fees” will be reflected in its fourth quarter 2023 financial results. Those fees are valued at approximately $8.2M ($6M USD).
OverActive Media announced this agreement back in June, alongside a sponsorship deal between Overwatch League and its franchise, Toronto Defiant. At the time, OverActive Media said that—including the early payment, the elimination of entry fees, and the sponsorship agreement—the deal is valued at $10.8M CAD, or $8.04M USD. Most of this deal will be recorded in FY 2023.
In a social media post, OverActive Media CEO and Co-Founder Adam Adamou noted that “the elimination of the entry fee was conditional on completing the OWL season and does not relate to the going-forward vote. Both were coincidentally for US$6M but they are unrelated.”
The vote he is referring to is happening this month, with the results to be revealed in early-November. Franchise owners will vote on whether or not to continue in the league, and if they choose to walk away, Activision Blizzard will pay them $6M each. OWL has also publicly said that it is working on revamping the league for 2024, but details are scant and clearly based on what franchisees decide to do this month.
The Esports Advocate has heard from multiple sources that some of the biggest names in the Overwatch League are expected to vote to exit, particularly those in China, where Activision Blizzard games are not available to Chinese consumers any more following the dissolution of its licensing deal with Chinese games publisher NetEase. When that deal ended, so did government approval for all Activision Blizzard games in the country. Chinese OWL team Chengdu Hunters left the league in May.
There are also reports that OWL is in talks with third-party tournament organizers for the 2024 season.