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Blizzard creates Overwatch Open Division to help aspiring esports pros

The Overwatch Open Division will aid players who aspire to become esports professionals.
The Overwatch Open Division will aid players who aspire to become esports professionals.

Blizzard announced Wednesday details about the Overwatch Open Division, a way Overwatch players dedicated enough to reach Masters could find their way into the esports scene.

Any player who has reached Masters tier or above in the most recent season — from Feb. 28 through the end of May — and is above the age of 13 will be eligible for the newly-created Overwatch Open Division. Potential players will have to make an ESL account in order to be in contact with other players or teams and potentially compete in the division as a full team. Individuals who don’t find a team by Wednesday’s deadline must register as a free agent. Teams with incomplete rosters have until June 30 to actively search and contact players to be added to the Open Division.

The tournament itself will run on a Swiss format every week from July 3 to Aug. 26. The playoffs, dubbed “the heroic eight,” will run Aug. 21-27. The champion of each region will earn a $50 reward in their Blizzard account, second place players will get $40 each, and third place will get $30. There is also a participation prize for those players on a team of $10 each.

Overwatch Contenders, a tournament that is still underway as a method of teams potentially being considered with regards to the ever elusive Overwatch League, will be separate from this division, and Blizzard said the Open Division will “take place in select regions around the world, and in 2018, will offer emerging teams a path to Overwatch Contenders seasons in each region.”


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