Blizzard Takes From the NFL, NBA, and MLB With Overwatch League

Blizzard Takes From the NFL, NBA, and MLB With Overwatch League

Overwatch is getting an entire professional eSports league and infrastructure.

With 20 million players, the Overwatch World Cup, and the upcoming third season of Competitive Play, Blizzard's Overwatch is ready to take its place as a full-on Sports game. Today at Blizzcon 2016, Blizzard announced the formation of the Overwatch League.

"The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We're building a league that's accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved."

The inaugural season of the Overwatch League will start some time in 2017. Blizzard will host a combine at the beginning of the season, with players trying out for various teams, just like a normal sports combine. Players scouted and picked up during the combine are guaranteed a contract, with a baseline minimum salary and benefits package.

Overwatch League teams will represent major cities from various regions, just like basketball, football, or baseball. The idea is players can grow an affinity with teams from their region, and teams will provide a solid structure for the entire Overwatch League.

Blizzard will be announcing teams and more Overwatch League information in the coming months.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

Read this next

Overwatch's Bastion Gets an Adorable Lego Skin for New Event

Just be careful you don't step on him.

A UK Ministry Just Recommended Heavy Loot Box Regulation. Here's Why This Matters

It's another step in an ongoing escalation of regulatory involvement in games.

Overwatch on the Switch Targets 30 FPS in Docked and Handheld Modes

Blizzard is also "excited" about cross-play, but you shouldn't expect it any time soon.

Nintendo Direct Recap: A Deluge of Ports From September 2019 Onward

From Overwatch to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, here's a recap of all the announcements.

Overwatch is Coming to the Nintendo Switch Next Month

The rumors were true, and the cavalry's here.

"There is a Benefit for Lying [About Loot Boxes]"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | The industry, academics, and watchdogs weigh in on the loot box debate for the FTC in a week full of big issues.

More News

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Street Fighter 2's Creator on Why Blocking Was Once a Controversial Issue

A creator and a pro sit down to talk blocking in fighting games.

More Esports Games

Hearthstone Saviors of Uldum Deck Guides, Trailer, Plague Cards, and Quests

Get all the info on the upcoming Saviors of Uldum expansion for Hearthstone.

Another Blizzard Co-Founder Is Leaving After Almost 30 Years With The Company

Only one of the original co-founders is left now.