After a supposed BlizzCon itinerary surfaced online yesterday, Blizzard has made it official: the Overwatch League is happening. Set to kick off next year, the developer aims to build the "world's premier esports league" by combining the fundamentals of online play with real life sports—where players are guaranteed contracts with baseline minimum salaries and benefits packages.
"Each team in the Overwatch League will represent a major city," the demonstration trailer featured below explains. "Our plan is to expand the league over time to include additional teams from the Americas, Europe, China, Korea and the Asia Pacific region. A global league of the future ensures that fans all over the world will have a professional team to root for, and will be able to witness Overwatch played at the highest level."
To ascertain that last part, Blizzard will host a combine prior to the start of the season, inviting the best Overwatch talent to try out for teams. Once there, players will be evaluated across a number of skills in order to identify the best, and those picked up during this signing period will be offered competitive full-time contracts. "Players who aspire to compete in the Overwatch League should continue making a name for themselves in Overwatch," reads a statement. The season will culminate with a live playoff to determine the overall winners.
This explanatory video provides a full rundown of the above and more:
More information on the Overwatch League can be found via its official site.