Daybreak Games has partnered with Twin Galaxies to create the H1Z1 Pro League.
The H1Z1 Pro League is planning its inaugural season in 2018, and the decision behind its creation is to create a sustainable esports ecosystem that will make it more attractive to teams, players, partners and viewers of H1Z1.
It’s a surprisingly bold move from Daybreak and Twin Galaxies as the league will include a minimum salary (planned to be around $50,000, although this is subject to a governance discussion), a “Player Bill of Rights” and team owner and player representation at a governance committee, and a revenue-sharing model for those involved.
15 teams will compete in the Pro League, with matches taking place over the course of two splits, each taking place over 10 weeks. There is currently no plan for a buy-in or other cost for teams to get involved in the league, and teams will be instead be selected through an application process that takes place in the closing weeks of 2017.
As battle royale esports become more and more prominent, this is a bold step from Daybreak and Twin Galaxies, and a financial gamble. A salary of at least $50,000 per player, for a five person team, means each competing organisation is going to be shelling out at least $250,000 just on player salaries, and that’s before you factor in logistical costs. That’s a big ask for organisations for a game that currently has a peak of 48,422 player today, a figure that puts it in line with games like Payday 2, Warframe and Grand Theft Auto V.
“H1Z1 burst onto the esports scene with its first Battle Royale tournament over two years ago and has continued to serve the community with events like the H1Z1 Invitational, Elites Series at DreamHack and the primetime broadcast of Fight for The Crown on The CW Network. Our goal with the H1Z1 Pro League is to create a world-class experience worthy of our incredibly competitive community,” said Anthony Castoro, H1Z1’s general manager at Daybreak Games.
“We chose to partner with Twin Galaxies because they bring a unique and compelling vision for how H1Z1 can reshape the world of professional esports, and they share our core value of putting players first.”
A closed-doors briefing will take place for interested parties at TwitchCon on Friday, October 20th. The list of competing teams, a start date and a plan for how the format will play out will be released in early 2018.