Blizzard announced Wednesday that all Overwatch players who are eligible to compete in the upcoming Overwatch League are considered free agents, and the signing period begins Tuesday. Further, all Overwatch League players will receive a $50,000 minimum salary and health insurance.
Seven teams have been announced for Season 1 of Overwatch League, which will begin later this year. Any team will be able to sign any player, and players who are already on an Overwatch League team will not automatically be signed to that team for Season 1.
The signing window will run until Oct. 30, and any team that joins Overwatch League during that time will be able to participate in the signing window upon joining the league. That gives an obvious advantage to the announced cities and owners and could also put pressure on other potential owners to try to pay for a spot in the league before all the top players are gone.
The signing process will be unique for Season 1, as it will be “updated to serve the needs of an established league, its teams, players, and fans,” the announcement reads. At the same time, players will sign one year contracts with an option for the second year, so it’s will be interesting to see how that affects the second season.
The minimum salary for players will be $50,000 and teams will also provide players with health insurance and a retirement savings plan. Teams will also give half their prize earnings for Overwatch League to the players. The Season 1 prize pool is $3.5 million, with $1 million awarded to the champion.
Team rosters will be from six to 12 players, and teams are mandated to provide housing for their players and a practice environment that must meet the “professional standards set by the Overwatch League.”
So far, franchises in Boston, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul have been confirmed.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard