Blizzard Entertainment has finally given us more details about the Overwatch League, their ambitious attempt to overhaul the way esports is done, at BlizzCon.
The league’s preseason will start in a month, on Dec. 6, with the inaugural debut season set to start on Jan. 10. Despite the fact that the Overwatch League boasts teams based all over the world, the first season will be played at the Blizzard Aren in Burbank, California.
Games will take place from Wednesday to Saturday. All in all, it should take almost seven months to conclude with four stages of play and Playoffs. Each stage will last five weeks and the teams’ records will be wiped after each stage. A mix of the stage record and overall record will be taken into account when determining Playoffs placement.
Teams will be rewarded for higher finishes in the different stages, with $125,000 in bonuses going out to teams after each stage for a total of $500,000 after all four. Consistent with their vision for equal compensation for teams and players, this money will be split half-and-half between the team and the players.
Twelve teams are participating in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. They will be split into two divisions, Pacific and Atlantic. Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Dallas Fuel, Shanghai Dragons, and the Seoul Dynasty will play in the Pacific Division. Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem, Philadelphia Fusion, New York Excelsior, Boston Uprising, and London Spitfire will represent the Atlantic Division.
The Playoffs will start on Jul. 11 and conclude on Jul. 28. Understandably, a bigger venue than the Blizzard Arena will have to be found for the event.