Blizzard is launching an ambitious new e-sports league to make competitive Overwatch a lot more professional. Called the Overwatch League, the new organization was announced at the developer’s annual BlizzCon convention in Anaheim. Blizzard describes it as “a world-class sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition.” The league will begin play some time next year.
The structure of the league will somewhat resemble a traditional pro sports league. Blizzard will start by hosting a combine where competitive players can compete for a chance to join a team, and anyone who joins the league will be given a guaranteed contract that includes both a base salary and a benefits package.
The Overwatch League will also feature teams based in major cities, much like a typical sports leagues. “Once these city-based teams have been admitted to the league, their spots will be secured, giving them the best opportunity to grow and thrive for years to come,” Blizzard explains. Details on the teams are expected to be announced over the next few months, but the plan is to have teams based in China, Korea, Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific region.
“The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players,” Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. “We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved.”