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.