Overwatch League Season 1 – Structure & Teams

September 25, 2017
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Following much controversy and doubts from the public, the Overwatch League is finally approaching its possible launch date.
This has come to be as the final teams have finally been locked down for the available slots.
The announcement came after the League had already initially announced seven, followed by two more joining at a later date, setting the locked teams to nine. Now with a further three teams added, the twelve starting season teams are locked down on their represented locations and will be battling it out in the biggest of Overwatch stages.

The most recent additions to the League include, Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia.

Houston

The first spot we mentioned, was announced only recently, and was specified to be the spot owned by OpTic Gaming.

Dallas

Dallas, also a spot in Texas, will also be owned by another eSports organization, Team Envy.

Philadelphia

On the other hand, differently from the first two, the Philadelphia spot will be owned by the same team of experts behind the NHL team of the Philadelphia Flyers.
These three spots, make up the final three expected to join the previous nine for the inaugural season. This however, isn’t the only news given as of late.
The league has finally gotten a start date, which will be the 10th of January 2018. For those disappointed that the league isn’t starting this year however, rejoice. As the league will officially start on the 10th of January, but the 6th of December of this year, will be the start of a series of show matches, at the same Blizzard Arena.

Recap

With this let’s recap what the League has gone through since the announcement at BlizzCon 2016.
The first thing was the announcement:

This announcement set the stage ablaze, as crowds went nuts over the idea of such a concept being brought to life, and the excitement would only get riled up even more as the Overwatch Team started putting more focus on marketing the league as in the next showcased video.

The video showcased the true essence of an actual league, immediately mimicking the current sports leagues’ systems of promoting upcoming talent, and rewarding them accordingly.
Of course, any revolutionary concept will never come without discord and doubt, but as many rose to the idea that this is just another failed attempt to control teams completely, some rose to discard such ideologies. This includes the CEO of Immortals, Noah Whinston during an interview with Yahoo eSports, as one can see below.

The most discord revolved around the initial seemingly extreme slot price estimated to be around twenty million dollars, which looked extremely out of reach for any eSports organization out there. However, this didn’t stop some organizations from finding workarounds to this issue, with some partnering up with strong investors and some even investing further.

Results

The result is that seven teams made the first cut, and the slots were bought as follows:

● Boston – Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots.
● New York – Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the New York Mets.
● Los Angeles (1st L.A. Slot) – Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals.
● Miami Orlando – Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming.
● San Francisco – Andy Miller, Chairman and Co-Founder of NRG Esports.
● Shanghai – NetEase
● Seoul – Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam
To many this was a shocking result, as following what was previously told, this meant a 140-million-dollar investment in Overwatch.

Moving On

Following this announcement that came from the League Chairman himself, many were shocked that teams opted in, including some endemic organizations, although some were relieved that this idea is lifting off to generate a new era in eSports.
This came with more success as two new teams joined the fray:
● London – Jack Etienne, Co-Founder and CEO of Cloud9
● Los Angeles (2nd L.A. Slot) – Stan & Josh Kroenke, a father and son working with various sports teams including Arsenal F.C., Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.

Conclusion

Players were also involved in the structuring of the League, and early around July, it was announced that August to October will be the official signing period for spot holders to form their teams, making the Overwatch World Cup a perfect stage for players to show off their skills.

Following the end of the Overwatch World Cup groups, before which the seven-team announcement was made, it only took around two months for the rest of the league to fill in, and just this week, the final three spots were filled in.
With the last three slots mentioned at the start of this article, this sets the league to have twelve teams in a single league running for six months until June.
It is still unclear on what will happen in June when the first season should come to an end, but at this point only time will tell.

Nonetheless, stay posted as we deliver back to back updates on the League!

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