Overwatch League

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[e][h] Overwatch League
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Overwatch League Trophy

Overwatch League (OWL) is the premier Professional Esports League for Overwatch, organized by Blizzard Entertainment. The league is touted as the first 'truly global professional esports league' [1], featuring franchised teams representing cities from all around the world.

The League began with 12 teams for the Inaugural Season, which started on January 10th, 2018.[2]



Overwatch League was announced at BlizzCon 2016[3]. A trailer was released, detailing the career of fictional player 'Krusher99'. The league was revealed to be using a franchising model for its teams, with each team spot representing a city.

The League was announced to be starting in 'Q3' of 2017[4], a date which would later be pushed back to 'late 2017'[2].

First Seven Teams[edit]

On July 12th, 2017, Blizzard announced the first 7 Cities and Team Owners participating in the Overwatch League.[2] The Cities and Owners announced were:

Season 1 Player Salaries and Signing Period Announced[edit]

On July 26th, 2017, Blizzard released details on player salaries and signing procedure and timelines for the inaugural season.[5] It outlined, among other things, that the minimum player salary would be USD$50,000, and that initial contracts would be for a minimum term of 1 year. All teams will be required to provide health insurance, a retirement savings plan, and provide player housing and practice facilities for their players.

Teams would also be required to distribute at least 50% of their team performance bonuses to their players directly, and that the total bonuses available for OWL teams in Season 1 will amount to USD$3.5 million, with a minimum of USD$1 million awarded to Season 1 Champions

The announcement also outlined the Official Player Signing Window for Season 1: from August 1st to October 30th 2017. Teams will be required to have at least 6 players, and no more than 12 total.

Further Teams Announced[edit]

Ahead of Season 1, more franchises were announced. On August 10th, 2017 and September 20th the remaining franchises were officially revealed:[6][7]

Season 2 Teams Announced[edit]

On August 2nd, 2018 the cities and owners of the first two expansion teams were officially revealed:[8]

  • Atlanta, owned by Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media, and automotive services company. The team will be operated by Atlanta Esports Ventures, a partnership between Cox and Province, Inc.
  • Guangzhou, owned and operated by Nenking Group, a financial and entertainment conglomerate, and owner of the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

On September 7th, 2018 the cities and owners of the six final expansion teams of season 2 were officially revealed:[9]

  • Vancouver, owned by Aquilini Group, a diversified family business that owns the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena and manages a global conglomerate portfolio.
  • Hangzhou, owned by Bilibili, a leading online entertainment company in China, covering a wide array of genres and media formats including videos, live broadcasting, and mobile games.
  • Paris, owned by DM-Esports, a global company focused on esports entertainment and investments.
  • Chengdu, owned by HUYA Inc., a leading game livestreaming platform in China.
  • Toronto, owned by OverActive Media, an integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market.
  • Washington D.C., owned by Washington Esports Ventures, a sports organization founded by Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis, to build and promote esports enterprises.


The current teams in Overwatch League are:

City Team Name Owner Team Announced First Season
USA Atlanta Atlanta Reign Cox Enterprises 2018-08-02 [8] 2019
USA Boston Boston Uprising Robert Kraft 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
China Chengdu Chengdu Hunters HUYA Inc. 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
USA Dallas Dallas Fuel Mike Rufail & Team Envy 2017-09-20 [7] 2018
China Guangzhou Guangzhou Charge Nenking Group 2018-08-02 [8] 2019
China Hangzhou Not yet announced Bilibili 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
USA Houston Houston Outlaws Hector Rodriguez & Infinite Esports 2017-09-20 [7] 2018
United Kingdom London London Spitfire Jack Etienne & Cloud9 2017-08-10 [6] 2018
USA Los Angeles Los Angeles Valiant Noah Whinston & Immortals 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
USA Los Angeles Los Angeles Gladiators Stan and Josh Kroenke 2017-08-10 [6] 2018
USA Miami-Orlando Florida Mayhem Ben Spoont & Misfits Gaming 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
USA New York New York Excelsior Jeff Wilpon 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
France Paris Paris Eternal DM-Esports 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
USA Philadelphia Philadelphia Fusion Comcast Spectacor 2017-09-20 [7] 2018
USA San Francisco San Francisco Shock Andy Miller & NRG Esports 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
South Korea Seoul Seoul Dynasty Kevin Chou & Gen.G Esports 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
China Shanghai Shanghai Dragons NetEase 2017-07-12 [2] 2018
Canada Toronto Toronto Defiant OverActive Media & Splyce 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
Canada Vancouver Not yet announced Aquilini Group 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
USA Washington Not yet announced Washington Esports Ventures 2018-09-07 [9] 2019


Season Date Prize Pool Champion Runner-Up Regular Season Winner
2018 2018 (2018.01.10 - 2018.07.28) $3,500,000 London Spitfire Philadelphia Fusion New York Excelsior
2019 2019 (2019.??.?? - 2019.??.??) $??? TBD TBD TBD



ID Name Position Join Date
USA Nate Nanzer League Commissioner 2016-11-04
USA Jonathan Spector Director of Franchises & Competition 2016-??-??
USA CaptainPlanet Ben Trautman Live Stats Producer 2017-11-28


Former Organization
ID Name Position Join Date Leave Date
USA Alchemist Jason Baker Lead Observer 2017-10-01 2018-10-05[10]

Additional Content[edit]