Overwatch League team rosters, points, news and how to watch it on Twitch
The first season of Overwatch League has begun, which also means the much-anticipated Overwatch League skins (and the subsequent Overwatch League Tokens) are now live.
Overwatch League is the first eSports competition developed directly by Overwatch publisher and developer Activision Blizzard. Its aim is to bring the template of traditional sports to the messy world of eSports by creating locally based professional teams all competing for a slice of a prize pot and pride.
READ NEXT: How to get Overwatch League Tokens and skins
The opening week of Overwatch League season runs from 10-13 January. A total of twelve teams from around the world are going up against each other over a season of play in LA. Overwatch League bucks the trend of other eSports tournaments because, instead of private teams with names such as Fnatic, Team Dignitas and Evil Genius, Overwatch League roots them in physical locations like football teams.
READ NEXT: Guide to UK eSports teams
Ahead of the launch, Overwatch League and Twitch announced that every match will be available for fans online through the social video streaming site. The first match of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season went live on Twitch at 4pm PST (midnight GMT) at Overwatch League.com on 10 January. Twitch will also be rebroadcasting the matches following each event for those in different time zones, for example, who didn’t stay up to watch it. Videos of the matches are also available from the video tab.
Additionally, if you sign into Twitch and follow the Overwatch League, you will be notified when broadcasts, and rebroadcasts, are about to begin.
Twitch and Overwatch League signed a two-year deal to cover the first two seasons of Overwatch League and, with the exception of China, Twitch will be the exclusive third-party provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs, and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean, and French. Overwatch League and Twitch have also teased a series of rewards and “other programs” for fans, and more details will be unveiled as they’re announced.
JUMP STRAIGHT TO TEAM LINEUP AND ROSTERS
Blizzard goes into more detail about each team in their team announcements, but you can find out everything you need to know about all the teams and an overall view of the Overwatch League in our hub below.
Overwatch League points
Once the matches begin we will update this article with the Overwatch League points.
Overwatch League: What is it?
Overwatch creator Activision Blizzard sees Overwatch League as a pro-level Overwatch tournament that plays out on the same scale as other popular sports like the NFL.
Essentially, location-based teams vie for a place at the top of an Overwatch season via competitive matches. It’s not been disclosed how many teams are participating, nor how Blizzard plans to organise the league structure. We could see something akin to a “winner stays in” tournament, but it’s most likely going to be a points-based system with league leaderboards to determine the final winners.
READ NEXT: How to watch eSports in the UK
Overwatch League: Where is it?
Because Overwatch League is an eSport, it can actually be viewed absolutely anywhere in the world thanks to games streaming. However, Activision-Blizzard is holding the competition at a physical venue in the new Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, California. Blizzard announced that this will be the location for its inaugural season, but it may move for future seasons – ideally jumping around the world to play in host cities.
Overwatch League: When is it?
Overwatch League had its first Contenders Season One Playoff from 7 October and a preseason tussle in December. Now those have wrapped up, the first season of Overwatch League begins on 10 January 2018.
This first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July.
“With the first 12 teams in place, we’re now just a few short months away from the inaugural season of the Overwatch League,” said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. “This is a huge milestone for the league. We can’t wait for the action to get underway and to see some of the top competitive Overwatch players in the world facing off to become the first-ever Overwatch League champions.”
Overwatch League: How to buy tickets?
You can watch the Overwatch League for free on Twitch, or, if you live in LA or nearby, you can buy tickets for matches being played each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The full schedule is on Overwatch League.com and you can get Overwatch League tickets here.
Overwatch League: How do teams work?
Activision Blizzard recently revealed how it plans to make teams in Overwatch work. They outlined their decisions around localising teams to specific cities, along with plans around housing regulations and pay. Essentially, each team owner pays in $20 million to sign their team up for Overwatch League. You may think that a crazy amount but to sign up for Major League Soccer it costs $200 million a team – so this is a relative steal.
Revenue from advertising, ticketing and broadcasting rights is then shared between the competing Overwatch League teams and all locally generated revenue goes right back to the club. The focus on regional teams is a deliberate move to open up Overwatch’s appeal beyond your core gamer or eSports fan. It’s an opportunity to have someone rally behind a local team, instead of one with an obtuse name populated by people using bizarre online aliases. However, an Overwatch League team isn’t restricted by region for recruiting, meaning that it won’t necessarily be the local talent you’re supporting as part of your local team.
Overwatch League teams are comprised of a minimum of six players, but no more than 12.
Overwatch League: How much do players make?
Playing eSports is a lucrative career opportunity but the money you can make is clearly only driven by the success of your team. If you want to make a living wage, you’ll need to win a lot of tournaments.
In Overwatch League, however, all players will receive a base salary – a first for an eSport team. Players will earn $50,000 (£38,000) for simply participating in an Overwatch League team – win or lose. They can then look forward to sharing a prize pot of $1 million for winning Season 1 alongside $3.5 million per year in bonuses. At least 50% of all team performance bonuses have to be distributed back to players and, if that wasn’t enough, all players receive health insurance and a retirement savings plan for participating in Overwatch League.
While this is still chump change to some of the pros in premier league football and NFL, it’s approaching pro-athlete levels of income for simply playing Overwatch. In fact, star Overwatch player Jay “sinatraa” Won has just joined the ranks of Overwatch League players around the world in a record signing that sees him earning $100,000 more than the League minimum.
Sinatraa joins the NRG eSports-lead San Francisco team with a yearly salary of a whopping $150,000 before benefits. Once you factor in Overwatch League’s revenue-sharing options and potential $3.5 million prize pool for League winners, sinatraa is easily the highest-paid player in eSports – and he’s only 17-years-old.
Overwatch League: Do they provide team housing?
Activision Blizzard has stated that all teams will be required to provide housing and practice facilities for players during an Overwatch League season. These houses all have to adhere to a strict set of standards set by the League – presumably in a direct response to the squats some teams have been living and working in.
Overwatch League: How do you sign up for a team?
To stop just everyone applying to join their local team, Blizzard has put in place an excellent method to help team owners and coaches spot the best Overwatch talent around. Using a scouting report built from analysing the world’s top Overwatch players, Blizzard has set a benchmark for what team owners should be capable of recruiting. This should mean we’ll see unknown Overwatch players rising to prominence and, in theory, should open the doors to anyone who wants to devote time to becoming a pro-level Overwatch player.
Interestingly, Blizzard says this method of recruitment is only set for Season 1 of Overwatch League and will be reviewed on a season-by-season basis. The official signing window for those wanting to get involved closed on 30 October.
Overwatch League: What is Overwatch?
I’m surprised you read this far without knowing what Overwatch is but, for those that haven’t heard of it, Overwatch is easily the most popular competitive shooter on the market right now – a quick visit to the Overwatch hashtag on Twitter or /r/overwatch will show you just how avid its fan base is. In the competitive scene, it pits two teams against one another in fast-paced, arena-based skirmishes where teams work to clear objectives or take down opponents while also bolstering their own teammates in the process.
Launched little over a year ago, Overwatch has gained impressive traction. In April this year Blizzard announced it had hit 30 million registered players – jumping up from 20 million in January 2017. Overwatch League aims to expand its reach to those who may have never even touched the game before.
Overwatch League skins: How to get them
Now that Overwatch League has begun, a special set of Overwatch League skins are going live, in-game, for people playing at home. They are likely to go live once the tournament starts, but the exact time was not revealed. Find out how to get Overwatch League tokens and more about Overwatch League skins.
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