Each team franchise is backed by an owner, and players that are signed overwatch chat the team are assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, and a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on how that team performs in the season. The League was announced in November 2016, and the first twelve teams were established within a year from that. The first season started regular season play in January 2018, to run through June 2018, followed by post-season playoffs and an All-Star weekend to occur in July. The League currently features twelve teams.
In its inaugural season, a series of pre-season games were played in December 2017, regular season games planned from January to June 2018, and then a playoff for the championship scheduled for July 2018. All games in the first season will take place at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, with capacity for 450 spectators. 20 against teams in their division, and 20 from outside their division. The post-season is based on teams’ performance across all regular games across all stages of the season. League teams can have up to six additional players that can be swapped between matches. A team’s membership is locked at the start of the season, with a mid-season signing period allows teams to bring in new players or trade players between teams.
Currently, the League is not region-locked, so teams can use players of any nationality to fill their ranks, as long as the team ownership is based in that city or region. The only restriction on players is to be of at least 18 years old and ability to travel internationally. Overwatch League players, while on a team’s contract, are paid an annual salary. Additionally, the League offers players with health and retirement benefits, as well as housing and training support. Players can negotiate for larger amounts with their team’s owners and larger portion of the bonus revenue-sharing from tournament winnings and other income.
Players are expected to follow a code of conduct set by Blizzard while playing and representing the League, and may face suspension and fines for violating these, in addition to any penalties the team itself may place down. Dallas Fuel further suspended him for the remainder of the first Stage of play. Professional teams in the League are given the opportunity to scout for new players through two additional competitive leagues run by Blizzard. Players that complete all non-playoff games for their team can earn a small amount of credit to Blizzard’s digital storefront, while regional winning teams can earn higher prize payouts. New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. North America and European series to bring a total of five regions.