Blizzard has officially lifted the lid on its Overwatch League eSports structure following Activision Blizzard CEO’s news tease last month.
Blizzard says it wants to establish a pro player career path in Overwatch and says its new league will offer stability and ‘change eSports forever’.
The League will reach out to major cities to offer try-outs – or Combines – for up and coming players. They will be offered professional contracts, baseline minimum salaries and benefits and more.
Teams will be centered around those cities and the first Combine will happen next year. Blizzard will also launch its own editorial website to provide coverage for the players and teams.
There will be a pre-season, where current pros and up and comers on the leaderboards converge; teams will then attempt to sign the best players and build rosters for the season ahead.
Matches will then be streamed live every week, including a standalone primetime matchup between top teams. Game highlights and other features will fill in the gaps between game days. The league will end with an ‘elite’ Overwatch League Championship tournament.
Blizzard also announced Sombra – a new playable hacker-type character – as well as a new Oasis map and a fresh Arcade mode, with 1v1 and 3v3 modes and its own Antarctica map.
Expect more details to emerge in the coming months.
Other announcements at Blizzcon so far include a new Hearthstone expansion – Mean Streets of Gadgetzan – as well as Ragnaros and King Varian Wrynn as new playable characters in Heroes of the Storm.
The 16 dungeons and four bosses from the original Diablo game will also be added to Diablo III.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.