The final day of BlizzCon 2017 brought new perspective into the Overwatch League’s operation, including scheduling, prize money and official team merchandise ahead of the inaugural season’s January 2018 start date.
Altogether, there are 12 teams across China, England, the United States and South Korea competing for the world champions title and a hefty sum of money. These teams are split between two divisions, with the Atlantic division consisting of Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior and Philadelphia Fusion. Representing the Pacific division is Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons.
Regular season play, which begins Jan. 10, will be broken into four stages lasting five weeks each with a 10-day gap between stages. All matches will be played Wednesday through Saturday each week during a stage, with all matchups held at the recently-opened Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. Over the four stage season, each team will have played 40 matches, 20 within their division and 20 against the other.
Regarding the prize money, a $100,000 award will be presented to teams that place first during each season’s title match, happening the last Saturday of each stage. The team that finishes in first place during the season will be awarded $300,000 and $1 million for the world champions at the postseason’s end.
Blizzard will also release an official companion app to help fans keep up with the five-month long, as revealed in a tweet earlier today. The video also showed some home and away team uniforms, a brief glimpse at the app and official team merchandise. While not all team colors were teased, it appears the away uniforms will be relatively low contrast, utilizing white as the primary color. Home colors are more vibrant, showing the personality of each team’s brand.
Team uniforms, branded merch, an official companion app, and more!
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) November 5, 2017
League commissioner Nate Nanzer hinted (around 22:00 mark) at home and away skins being available for everyone else sometime in the future as a way to support their favorite professional team. Nanzer also mentioned that fans can show team pride in the real world with hats, jerseys and even socks starting Dec. 6, when preseason starts.
The league will also expand once the season is over, as more teams across Europe and Asia will be added, according to the commissioner. More venues will be added so teams will have actual home and away games, instead of sharing a single arena like this season will.
The season’s stages, along with the first week’s matches, are listed below.
- Stage One: Jan. 10 – Feb. 10
- Stage Two: Feb. 21 – March 24
- Stage Three: April 4 – May 5
- Stage Four: May 16 – June 16
Week One matches:
- San Francisco Shock vs. Los Angeles Valiant
- Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Gladiators
- Dallas Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty
- London Spitfire vs. Florida Mayhem
- Philadelphia Fusion vs. Houston Outlaws
- Boston Uprising vs. New York Excelsior
- Los Angeles Valiant vs. Dallas Fuel
- Florida Mayhem vs. Boston Uprising
- San Francisco Shock vs. Shanghai Dragons
- London Spitfire vs. Philadelphia Fusion
- New York Excelsior vs. Houston Outlaws
- Seoul Dynasty vs. Los Angeles Gladiators