Overwatch League players will make at least US$50,000 a year
Blizzard plans to make e-sports a legitimate career path.
The e-sports industry is still very much in its infancy, but companies like Blizzard Entertainment are making some promising strides towards bringing video games up to snuff with other professional sporting institutions. Late last year, Blizzard announced the Overwatch League, an official framework for the best Overwatch players to compete in a professional environment modelled after traditional sporting leagues. Blizzard's intention is to make Overwatch competition a viable career path, and today, the company has revealed the details of how it plans to achieve this.
First and most appealing is the assurance that all Overwatch League players will receive a minimum salary of US$50,000 a year, with individual teams able to pay their players even more if they wish. Teams will also need to distribute at least 50% of all winnings to their players, as well as provide them with both health insurance and a retirement savings plan. Additionally, teams must sign players on for a minimum of one year, with the option to extend the contract once that year is up.
Alongside the entitlement details, Blizzard has shed some more light on how Overwatch League teams will function. For starters, each team must have between 6 and 12 players on its roster. Teams aren't bound to a single country, either, so players from all around the world can join any team they want. Finally, each team needs to provide its players with housing during the Overwatch League season, with Blizzard approving the facilities to make sure they're up to the organisation's standards.
It's great that Blizzard's getting serious about improving the e-sports scene. Hopefully, if the Overwatch League proves successful when it launches later this year, we'll start to see other competitions follow suit with their own professional standards and benefits for players.