Fans of Overwatch League finals snap up tickets at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center

August 26th, 2019

The Wells Fargo Center has sold out its first esports championship, set for Sept. 29, with 12,000 fans buying tickets priced between $50 and $250, the arena said over the weekend.

The center seats close to 20,000 fans for concerts or pro sports, but Comcast Spectacor, which owns it, will reconfigure it for the Overwatch League finals. Overwatch is a multi-player first-person shooter video game.

Dave Scott, chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, said the sold-out championship “furthers Philadelphia’s emergence as a global esports hub.”

Comcast Spectactor also owns the Overwatch franchise Fusion. The company, part of Comcast Corp., plans to invest tens of millions of dollars in esports. It has announced construction of a $50 million esports arena near the Wells Fargo Center, for which ground has not been broken.

Esports, watching highly skilled gamers compete for titles or prize money in stadiums, has soared in popularity globally, particularly in Asia. The Overwatch League replicates the professional sports model, with 20 city-based franchises in China, South Korea, Canada, France, England and the United States.

Tucker Roberts, son of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, runs the esports business at Comcast Spectacor.

The two teams competing for the Overwatch crown will share $1.7 million, with the winning team getting $1.1 million. In last year’s championship, the London Spitfire defeated the Fusion. This year, the San Francisco Shock is leading the league, followed by the Vancouver Titans and two teams from China, Guangzhou Charge and Hangzhou Spark. The Fusion are in 11th place and are still in the running for a wild-card spot.

September’s championship will be streamed online on Twitch in 190 countries and broadcast on ABC between 3 and 6 p.m. It will also be available on the ESPN app, at overwatchleague.com, and on the Overwatch League app.

Activision Blizzard, which owns the Overwatch game, says that 40 million people play globally, including 400,000 in the Philadelphia television market.

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