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Blizzard introduces exclusive Hanzo skin package to support Overwatch’s inaugural Major tournament prize pool funding

The First Major and Offline LAN Event for Overwatch Since the Start of the Champion Series

The first Major and offline LAN event for professional Overwatch since the death of the Overwatch League and the start of the Champion Series kicks off on May 31, and the total prize pool will be determined entirely by how many in-game bundles are sold.

Azure Flame Hanzo Crowdfunding Bundle

Throughout the OWCS Dallas Major and until June 3, Overwatch 2 players can buy the Azure Flame Hanzo Crowdfunding Bundle, and 25 percent of all the revenue generated from the items in the bundle will directly feed into the event’s prize pool.

Azure Flame Hanzo bundle with proceeds going to OWCS Major.
Unstoppable power. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

A Crowdfunded Prize Pool

The model being used is nearly identical to the one that was implemented for the 2023 Overwatch World Cup when 25 percent of Blizzard’s revenue from the sale of Overwatch World Cup crowdfunding cosmetics and bundles made up the entirety of the prize pool. The final prize pool amount for that event was $513,162, according to the official Overwatch Path to Pro account on X (formerly Twitter).

While crowdfunding is certainly common among some esports, it’s rare to see an event with a prize pool that’s entirely crowdfunded with no developer contribution. Events like the Counter-Strike Majors, Dota 2 Majors, and VALORANT Champions feature a hefty prize pool provided by the developer, but each of these events also uses crowdfunding initiatives to provide more revenue to competing teams.

Blizzard’s Approach to Overwatch Esports

Considering how long Blizzard ran the costly Overwatch League, though, perhaps it’s not surprising to see the company unwilling to splurge on Overwatch esports, especially given the new era of the competitive scene is still less than a year old. This prize pool funding method could also be considered a way for Blizzard to quickly measure dedicated fan interest in Overwatch esports.

While Overwatch 2 players have the option of purchasing the Dallas bundle, which includes the Azure Flame Hanzo skin and accompanying cosmetics, they can also earn up to 12 different cosmetics, including “home and away” OWCS Ashe skins, by watching up to 12 hours of the event on Twitch or YouTube.