Blizzard has signed another three teams, meeting the company's goal of 12 franchises for the first season of the Overwatch League. The company also announced that the first season will officially begin on January 10, 2018.
The Overwatch League now includes teams from Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), Team Envy (Dallas), and OpTic Gaming (Houston). With 12 franchises, Blizzard nnounced that the preseason will begin on December 6 with exhibition matches featuring all 12 teams from across the world. The regular season begins next year in January with finals scheduled for July. All events for the first season at least will take place in Blizzard's new LA Arena, though eventually the League wants to implement traveling matches like in traditional major sports leagues.
"This is a huge milestone for the league; we can't wait for the action to get underway and to see some of the top competitive Overwatch players in the world facing off to become the first-ever Overwatch League champions."
Blizzard also announced that future details will include team names, logos, and colors along with a finalized schedule for the inaugural season. Overwatch League franchises are responsible for growing a business based around their Overwatch League teams, so expects at the very least sports paraphernalia with your local team's logo and name.
The Overwatch League is Blizzard's ambitious new esports initiative based around the massively popular team shooter with which the League shares its name with. While progressing along rapidly, there's still a lot left unknown about how the League will function when it finally goes underway. All we have so far are reported stories about the cost of the League, and Overwatch's plans to model it after traditional sports leagues. I'm interested in seeing how the Overwatch League fares, and whether it will signal a new age in esports.