At BlizzCon 2016, the Overwatch team unveiled the crown jewel to their eSports plans in Blizzard’s runaway success shooter, Overwatch.
Beginning 2017, the Overwatch League will launch, promising to mix traditional sports practices with that of eSports.
The most striking features of the proposed league includes city-based teams, whose membership in the league are permanent. It stands to reason that actual league play will feature no relegation.
Further, a global scouting period called a combine — similar to that of the NFL or MLB — will be integrated into the league. The combine will get the best players on the Overwatch ladder, players who make a name for themselves on the third-party tourney circuit, as well as skilled streamers on a regular schedule and place them into a global pool of talent where teams can get their latest recruits.
In this way, Blizzard hopes to create a system where players have a stable and predictable path on their way to becoming professional players as well as help teams create fans for life in the cities they represent.
The Overwatch League will have regular league play done in LAN settings with playoffs done as live events as well. The league also promises to handle contracts, salaries and other organizational disputes to help support their grand plans.
More details are slated to come out before year’s end.