Blizzard Entertainment launches a professional e-sports league for its video game Overwatch.
Simply called "Overwatch League", it's set up to combine Blizzard’s e-sports experience and reputation with those of major professional sports practices. The company says the league will focus on teams' long-term stability and opportunities for players to establish long-term professional careers within it.
“The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players,” says Mike Morhaime, chief executive officer and co-founder, Blizzard. “We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable and exciting for everyone involved.”
Blizzard says the inaugural season Overwatch League is set begin next year. At the beginning of the season, Blizzard will be hosting a combine in which eligible players who have already gained a reputation as a competitive player can try out for the league's teams. Those selected during the signing period will be granted a guarunteed contract that includes a base salary and a benefits package.
The company also says that (much like major pro sports) the Overwatch League's teams will represent major cities from different regions.
Overwatch itself is a competitive online multiplayer game that features 23 different heroes – each with their own arsenal of weapons and abilities.