After Overwatch League was announced in BlizzCon 2016, the community had to go through months and months of silence from the developer, Activision Blizzard. Recently, the seven teams that will participate in the League’s inaugural season have been announced. Now, Blizzard has confirmed that the Overwatch League will start in 2017 and teams will soon be able to start hunting for players.
According to Blizzard, Overwatch League teams’ players will officially play for that team once a contract is signed and approved by the Overwatch League. According to a statement by the developer, “Players associated with established Overwatch teams—even teams from organizations that have been announced as part of the Overwatch League—are not automatically signed to those rosters.”
That could potentially make a mess. It looks like it doesn’t matter what you did to get your roster together prior to the start of the deadline for team roster assembly, Blizzard is hitting a reset button. This makes it so that the past year of the development of the Overwatch competitive scene is almost… deleted.
The period during which Overwatch League teams will be able to sign players begins on Aug. 1 and will conclude on Oct. 30. If any other organizations join Overwatch League during that period, they will also be able to start signing players immediately.
A scouting report that is provided by Blizzard to prospective Overwatch League team owners should help with recruitment, however, that doesn’t remove the big problem of most of the best Overwatch players in the world who are interested in becoming esports competitors already playing for one Overwatch team or another. Unless contracts various esports teams have with every Overwatch pro in existence runs out before Blizzard’s recruitment window closes, some players might find themselves on the outside when the team interested in him isn’t willing to pay the buyout price.