At Blizzcon this past weekend Blizzard revealed the Overwatch League, a professional competition run by the developer.
The league will kick off in 2017 and feature teams based in cities across the world. Weekly league play matches will be broadcast online while the end of season playoffs will be traditional style LAN events, giving fans a chance to see the best players in the world do their thing in person.
Teams will have to bid to secure their city in the league and once they have been accepted they will be permanent residents, meaning no relegation or promotion, much like the NFL. No teams or cities were announced for the league, with more info coming in the next few months.
Players will be able to enter the league through scouting combines, where the best players in the world will be given a chance to show off in front of the teams who will be looking to recruit a world championship winning side. Any players that are signed from this combine will be guaranteed a contract that includes a baseline minimum salary and benefits package.
“The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved.”