What is Franchising in Esports

Franchising in esports is a business model where companies grant individuals or organizations the right to operate and profit from their esports brand or team.

This model allows esports to expand and grow by creating a network of independently owned and operated entities.

The rise of esports in recent years has led to the development of franchising as a way to organize and structure the industry.

Similar to traditional sports leagues, franchising in esports provides stability and sustainability by offering long-term partnerships and revenue-sharing opportunities for both the franchisor and the franchisee.

The franchisor, usually an established esports organization, benefits from expanding its brand and increasing its audience reach.

On the other hand, the franchisee receives access to established infrastructure, resources, and support from the franchisor to develop and grow their esports team or brand.

Overall, franchising in esports is a strategic business model that fosters collaboration, growth, and standardization in the rapidly evolving world of competitive gaming.

Understanding the Concept and Its Impact

Franchising in esports is a concept that allows individuals to establish their businesses within the gaming industry. With its increasing popularity, franchising in esports significantly impacts the gaming community and the economy.

It provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to tap into the lucrative market and for players to engage with a broader fan base.

The concept of franchising in esports encourages growth, innovation, and collaboration within the gaming ecosystem.

Franchising in esports has gained significant momentum in recent years, revolutionizing the industry and creating new opportunities for players and organizations.

This revolutionary model brings structure and stability to competitive gaming, allowing franchises to own and operate teams within a league.

In this section, we’ll delve into the basics of franchising in esports, explore its definition, and examine its evolutionary journey.

Understanding the Basics

Franchising in esports can be best understood by breaking it down into several key points:

  • Franchising Definition: Franchising in esports refers to a model where organizations are granted the right to own and operate teams within a competitive gaming league. This model provides stability and financial security to both teams and leagues, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Ownership Rights: Franchises gain exclusive ownership rights to their teams, allowing them to control branding, team personnel, and revenue streams. This level of control ensures long-term sustainability and growth for the organization.
  • Revenue Sharing: Franchising introduces a revenue-sharing system where teams receive a portion of the league’s overall revenue. This allows teams to generate income beyond sponsorship and merchandise sales, providing stability and incentivizing growth.
  • League Structure: Franchises operate within a structured league system, competing against one another in a series of matches to determine standings and eventual champions. The league’s governing body designs and implements rules and regulations to ensure fair play and maintain the integrity of competitions.

Exploring the Definition of Franchising in Esports

Franchising in esports has evolved, transforming the landscape of competitive gaming. Let’s take a closer look at its journey:

  • Traditional Tournament Model: In the early days of esports, most competitions followed a standard tournament model. Teams would participate in standalone events with no long-term commitments or team ownership rights. While this model allowed for flexibility, it lacked stability and financial security.
  • Introduction of Franchise Leagues: To address the drawbacks of the traditional tournament model, esports began adopting franchise leagues. These leagues introduced the concept of franchise ownership, enabling organizations to establish permanent teams within a structured competitive system. This marked a significant shift towards stability and long-term planning.
  • Overcoming Challenges: The implementation of franchise leagues in esports faced various challenges, such as determining franchise fees, establishing revenue-sharing models, and maintaining competitive balance. However, with time and experience, these challenges have been overcome through collaboration between leagues, organizations, and players.
  • Global Expansion: Franchising in esports has also facilitated global expansion, attracting investors and organizations worldwide. This expansion has increased competition, heightened viewership, and enhanced fan engagement, ultimately fueling the industry’s growth.

The concept of franchising in esports has transformed the way competitive gaming operates.

By establishing ownership rights, implementing revenue-sharing models, and creating structured leagues, franchising has revolutionized the industry and propelled it toward a sustainable and prosperous future.

How Franchise Structures Empower Players and Organizations

Franchising in esports offers a robust structure that empowers players and organizations, allowing for growth and development in the competitive gaming industry.

Through franchise models, players gain stability and support, while organizations can expand their reach and build a community of dedicated fans.

Stable and Secure Ecosystem

The esports franchise structure brings numerous benefits that empower players and organizations. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Financial Stability and Security for Players and Teams: Franchise structures provide a stable economic environment for players and teams. They offer consistent salaries, revenue-sharing opportunities, and sponsorship deals that ensure a secure income stream.
  • Long-term Growth Opportunities for Organizations: With the franchise model, organizations have the opportunity for long-term growth and development. They can build fan bases, attract investors, and secure partnerships more efficiently, leading to sustainable success in esports.

Increased Professionalization of Esports

Franchise structures also contribute to the professionalization and standardization of the esports industry. Here’s how:

  • Standardized Infrastructure and Resources: Franchise organizations invest in top-notch infrastructure and resources, including advanced gaming facilities, training centers, coaching staff, and state-of-the-art technology. This ensures players can access the best equipment and support, enhancing their performance and professionalism.
  • Enhanced Training and Development Programs: Franchise organizations prioritize the development of players by providing comprehensive training and development programs. They offer access to experienced coaches, sports psychologists, and nutritionists, enabling players to improve their skills and reach their full potential.

Global Expansion and Localization

The franchise model in esports allows for both global expansion and localization, offering numerous benefits:

  • Opportunity for Geographical Expansion: Franchise organizations can expand into different regions and countries, allowing esports to reach a wider audience and tap into new markets. This enables the industry’s growth globally and facilitates the emergence of local talent.
  • Customization and Adaptation to Local Markets: Franchising in esports enables organizations to customize and adapt their strategies to local markets. This includes content localization, creating region-specific events, and engaging with local communities. Such customization helps to establish a deeper connection with fans and foster a sense of belonging.

Franchise structures empower players and organizations in the esports industry by providing a stable and secure ecosystem, increased professionalization, standardized infrastructure, enhanced training programs, global expansion opportunities, and customization for local markets.

This model fosters growth, sustainability, and success in the fast-growing world of esports.

Examining Successful Examples and Their Impact

Franchising in esports has become a successful model for growth and expansion, with numerous examples showcasing its impact.

From reputable teams to popular streaming platforms, franchising has transformed the industry by offering stability, investment opportunities, and a structured framework for professional gaming.

The Overwatch League (OWL)

The Overwatch League (OWL) has emerged as one of the most successful examples of franchising in esports. Here’s a closer look at its creation, structure, significance, and the challenges it has faced:

The Creation and Structure of OWL:

  • The OWL was established in 2017 as a professional esports league for the popular team-based shooter game Overwatch.
  • It follows a franchising model, where teams purchase a spot in the league rather than qualifying through traditional promotion and relegation systems.
  • The league comprises geographically based teams representing cities, similar to traditional sports leagues.
  • OWL’s structure includes regular-season matches, playoffs, and a grand finals event.

Significance and Challenges Faced:

  • OWL has significantly elevated professional esports by attracting significant investments from traditional sports organizations, media companies, and celebrities.
  • Franchising has provided stability and predictability, allowing teams to build fan bases, secure sponsorships, and develop long-term strategies.
  • However, OWL has faced challenges such as high entry fees for team ownership, concerns about sustainability, and difficulties in creating a balanced competitive environment.

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is another prime example of successful franchising in esports. Let’s delve into its development, format, and the ways it has revolutionized the esports industry:

Development and Format of LCS

  • The LCS was launched in 2013 as Riot Games’ premier professional league for the top-rated multiplayer online battle arena game, League of Legends.
  • It shifted from a semi-professional circuit to a franchised model in 2018, providing stability and financial security for teams.
  • LCS features a split format, with two seasons per year: Spring and Summer Split, followed by playoffs and a regional championship.

Revolutionizing the Esports Industry

  • The franchising model introduced by LCS has brought immense benefits to the esports industry, including increased investment, higher production values, and greater accessibility for fans.
  • Franchising has allowed teams to build strong brand identities, establish local fan bases, and attract sponsorships from non-endemic companies.
  • Moreover, it has encouraged long-term player and team development, fostering sustainability and professional growth within the esports ecosystem.

Call Of Duty League (CDL)

  • The Call of Duty League (CDL) has significantly impacted the esports scene, embracing franchising and implementing innovative strategies to engage fans. Here’s an introduction to the CDL and an exploration of its implications:

Introduction and Impact of CDL

  • The CDL was launched in 2020 as a franchised competitive league for the famous first-person shooter game Call of Duty.
  • It shifted from a city-based structure to a franchised model, emulating the success of OWL and LCS.
  • The CDL’s introduction has provided a stable and professional platform for Call of Duty esports, attracting considerable investment and international attention.

Innovations and Fan Engagement Strategies

  • CDL has revolutionized fan engagement in esports by introducing a home-and-away format for matches, where teams travel to different cities to compete.
  • The league has also implemented interactive experiences like in-game rewards, live chat, and behind-the-scenes content to enhance fan involvement and create a vibrant community.

These successful examples of franchising in esports, namely OWL, LCS, and CDL, have redefined the industry landscape.

These leagues have paved the way for esports’ continued growth and professionalization by offering stability, attracting investment, and prioritizing fan engagement.

Predictions and Potential Developments

Franchising in esports is set to witness significant growth and advancements in the future, with potential developments and predictions showing immense opportunities for investors and players alike.

The market is poised to expand, offering new avenues for collaboration and innovation within the industry.

Continued Expansion and Development:

Esports has experienced rapid growth, and its expansion shows no signs of slowing down. Here are some predictions and potential developments for the future of sports franchising:

  • The popularity of esports is expected to continue rising, with more players, teams, and franchises entering the scene.
  • Significant investments from traditional sports organizations are likely to increase as they recognize the opportunities in esports.
  • New esports titles will be developed, offering exciting expansion opportunities for franchises.
  • Player welfare and development will be a key focus, with efforts to provide players better training, support, and career growth.
  • Advancements in player contracts and rights are anticipated, ensuring fair treatment and providing players with more career stability and security.

Potential Entry of Traditional Sports Organizations

  • Traditional sports organizations are increasingly interested in venturing into the esports world due to its immense potential for growth and profitability.
  • Many sports organizations are establishing their esports divisions or partnering with existing esports franchises to tap into this thriving industry.
  • This entry of traditional sports organizations into the esports scene brings substantial financial backing, resources, and expertise, further fueling the growth of franchises.

New Esports Titles and Expansion Opportunities

  • As the popularity of esports continues to soar, new titles and game genres will emerge, creating exciting expansion opportunities for franchises.
  • Franchise owners can diversify their portfolios and enter different games, catering to a broader fan base and expanding their reach.

Player Welfare and Development

  • In the ever-evolving world of esports, player welfare and development will become increasingly important.
  • Franchises will focus on providing better support and resources to their players, ensuring their well-being, mental health, and personal growth.
  • Initiatives such as wellness programs, mental health counseling, and career development opportunities will be implemented to enhance player satisfaction and improve performance.

Advancements in Player Contracts and Rights

  • As the esports industry matures, player contracts and rights will become more sophisticated and comprehensive.
  • Franchises will prioritize fair and transparent agreements, ensuring players are correctly compensated and protected throughout their careers.
  • Negotiating power and leverage for players will improve, marking a significant step forward in the professionalization of esports.

Focus On Mental and Physical Well-Being

  • Acknowledging the importance of mental and physical well-being, franchises will invest in programs and resources to support players’ overall health.
  • Regular exercise regimes, nutrition plans, and access to mental health professionals will become standard practices within the industry.
  • A healthy and balanced lifestyle for players will enhance their performance and contribute to their long-term success and well-being.

Increased Viewership and Fan Engagement

  • His esports fan base will continue to grow, leading to increased viewership of tournaments and events.
  • Franchises will leverage this growing audience by focusing on fan engagement initiatives such as events, merchandise, and interactive online experiences.
  • Building solid and passionate communities around their franchises will enhance the overall esports experience for fans.

Innovative Broadcasting and Viewing Experiences

  • Technological advancements will revolutionize the way esports is broadcasted and consumed by fans.
  • Franchises will explore virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and immersive viewing experiences to offer fans a unique and engaging way to watch their favorite teams and players.
  • Interactive features, enhanced graphics, and real-time statistics will enhance the viewing experience, making esports even more captivating.

Collaborations and Partnerships With Brands

  • Franchises will collaborate with brands from various industries to create mutually beneficial partnerships.
  • These partnerships will allow brands to tap into the highly engaged esports audience while providing franchises with additional financial support and exposure.
  • Sponsorship deals, advertising campaigns, and product collaborations will become familiar as esports continue to attract mainstream attention.

By keeping an eye on these predictions and potential developments, esports franchises can position themselves for success in an ever-evolving industry.

The future of franchising in esports looks bright, offering endless possibilities for growth, innovation, and fan engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Franchise Mean in Esport?

A franchise in esports refers to a team or organization that is part of a more prominent league or competition.

Is Esports a Franchise?

No, esports is not a franchise. It is a form of competitive video gaming.

What is Franchising in Riot?

Franchising in Riot is a business arrangement where individuals or entities can operate a Riot Games store.

Is Esports Franchise Profitable?

Esports franchises can be profitable if managed effectively and have a dedicated fan base and sponsorship opportunities.

What is Franchising in Esports?

Franchising in esports is a business model where organizations sell the rights to operate a team under their brand.


Franchising in esports has opened up opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and established organizations. It provides a structured framework that allows individuals to enter the industry with the support and expertise of a well-established brand.

Franchising offers a way to tap into the growing esports market while minimizing the risks of starting a new venture from scratch.

With franchising, entrepreneurs access a proven business model, established marketing strategies, and an existing customer base. This can lead to quicker returns on investment and increased chances of success.

For established organizations, franchising allows them to expand their reach and increase their market share without significant investments.

Overall, franchising in esports is a win-win situation, fostering growth and innovation while bringing more exciting opportunities to the ever-evolving world of competitive gaming.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.