Following its announcement last year, Blizzard has been keeping a low profile regarding details for the highly anticipated Overwatch League.
Slated to commence sometime after July, the Overwatch League is proposed as a city-based series of competitions with permanent slots for its participants. Blizzard is most interested in not only creating a competitive league but also a healthy environment that nurtures all parties involved.
Several key details have been outed through a recent press conference (translation via Reddit) held with Nate Nanzer, head of esports at Blizzard, in South Korea.
To begin with, the first season of Overwatch League will be relatively short. Blizzard understands that there will be a bit of chaos once the premier event goes underway.
Teams will be scrambling to acquire players, finalizing rosters, locking down substitutes and training schedules, adhering to rules and policies, and more.
Hence, Blizzard will be using the first season as a way of normalizing the league. However, more regular, lengthy seasons with consistent schedules will be provided from next year.
It should be noted that Overwatch League will be an independent “premier” entity and without associations with third-party organizers or events.
Most importantly, a previous rumor has finally been confirmed. In contrast to other popular esports brands, Overwatch League will not feature any drafting system for players. This is to ensure stability and prevent existing teams from being torn apart, and an important aspect of the ecosystem that Blizzard wants to create for Overwatch.
“The team owners will have the rights to their roster,” said Nanzer. “We will do our best to prevent cases where existing teams would break up for the Overwatch League.”
As for the team owners, they will be decided through a lengthy process where Blizzard will verify the necessary capital, plans, and other elements, needed to form and own a team in the league.
More information will be released for the community in the coming days.