We all look at it from different points of views but mine is games have more chance of being popular when they are new since they have built up a lot of interest, don't forget OW had a closed then open beta as well so the game has been out long enough to warrant more than 15k viewers watching the best in the world, I don't know exactly how many players OW has but it is millions right? yet only a very small fraction of them turn in to watch the e-sports side of it so my question is, where are all these viewers going to come from? the game probably won't build up much more of a player base now since it's not very often games work that way.
Do you think granny and grandad sitting at home in Texas will suddenly turn into the OWL because Blizzard advertise it? I honestly can't remember Valve advertising CS too much even in the 1.5 days yet it was still popular, sure CS is 15 years old or whatever but that too was new at a time when e-sports wasn't anywhere near as big as it is now so no excuses.
People always come to this forum with such positivity but it's not based on anything yet me being on the other side of the fence is just a negative nancy who gets downvoted, how do you all know I'm wrong? how can you honestly sit there and say you're right? it's easy to sit here and say OWL will be the biggest success in e-sports and will eventually fill 15k arenas and get 200k viewers yet it's just as easy to sit here and say it will flop, if that hurts your feelings then tough shit, we have different opinions don't cry because mine isn't the same as yours.
It's also incredibly naive to think a bit of advertising solves the problem and makes the world go around, companies all over the world spend millions of dollars and years on advertising, go and ask all them if it worked but hey I'm wrong as always eh, I will happily eat my words when OWL blows up until then stop assuming it will because you WANT it to.
It's still a fact that the game is very young, and infrastructure in the earlier days really wasn't their to support it as an eSport imo. So no, I don't believe adding the beta phases warrants more than 15k people watching when it was really was more geared towards being accessible and fun to play.
You know full well that OWL isn't geared towards the demographic you just listed. As per Nate himself the first Season isn't even looking to bring in non OW fans, just the ones that already know the game but that might not know it as an eSport. I think you're discounting the effect that being a pioneer in eSports has. What CS was able to build didn't get done overnight and the legacy it carries means a lot. As eSports grew so did the scene, so yes, I think it does matter quite a bit.
There's opinions form both sides. And for the same reason you don't see why people are "positive" some don't see why you're "negative". I've mentioned this a lot but without enough information and expertise to make an educated and informed analysis we have to default to a side. I'm in the opinion that all the money being pumped in from notable business men who know much more than we do is an indication that there's some manner of viability for this model.
Advertising doesn't guarantee anything, but without it you get nothing. I don't know what the OWL, or each individual team's campaigns will look like so that's not something I can speak on. I do however think that a lot of people hope it "blows up", more than they "assume" it will. Assumptions on either side can only be speculation because again, unless anyone has insider information or a magic ball, no one actually knows.
I don't think you're wrong in being skeptical of the league's success, I also don't think you can call others wrong for believing it will succeed. My reason for not assuming it's downfall is that I chose to defer the business people and the large amount of capital that's being put in, but I'm also aware that mismanagement is a thing so I don't assume it'll be a raging success.