The Paris Relocation and Activision Blizzard Esports’ European Predicament
With the Legion and Eternal moving to Vegas, are they looking to sell?
On Wednesday, the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues’ two sister franchises, the Paris Eternal and Legion, made big news: They’re moving to Las Vegas in 2023.
The Eternal and the Legion have been a bit confusing since they were founded. They’re not European-owned—the teams’ owner is, in fact, the McCourt family, the previous owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers and current owners of Olympique de Marseille. The family struggled to maintain both of their sports franchises, and were forced to sell the Dodgers in 2011, while Marseille fans have rioted, among other things, at their ineptitude in running the club.
Significant infrastructure for a home base in France seemed far-fetched from the beginning, something that has only become more apparent as the Eternal and Legion competed in the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues the past few years.
The Eternal and the Legion are based in the U.S. already, having moved to New Jersey in 2020 and then Texas in 2021 because of the pandemic, causing games to move online. Relocating to Vegas only makes sense.
But one wrinkle I’ve not seen discussed: What if the Eternal and Legion are for sale, and this move is to make a potential acquisition more palatable for other U.S. investors?
Selling an Overwatch or Call of Duty franchise right now is nigh impossible, assuming we exclude the Oxygen Esports acquisition of a Call of Duty League slot from earlier this year as an outlier.