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Overwatch League


[e][h] Overwatch League
Series Information
Abbreviation:
OWL
Location:
World World
Links
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]

History[edit]

Announcement[edit]

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. the Vancouver slot is also run by Luminosity Gaming, a Canadian esports organisation mainly known for it's CS:GO team and previous involvement in the Overwatch scene.
  • 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. The team is operated by Chinese esports organization Royal Never Give Up, who are most well known for their success in League of Legends.[10]
  • Toronto, owned by OverActive Media, an integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market. The Toronto spot is also co-owned by Splyce, an American esports organisation mostly known for its teams in League of Legends & Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
  • 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.

Homestand Venues[edit]

Beginning in Season 2, teams began hosting homestands with Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles hosting homestands in Stages 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Ahead of Season 3, other teams began naming homestead venues. All listed venues are in the home team's state/province unless otherwise noted. Capacities may refer to their E-Sports configuration capacity instead of their regular/full capacity.[11]

Team Name Venue Capacity First Homestand
Atlanta Reign USA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta 2,750 2019
Chengdu Hunters China Wuliangye Chengdu Performing Arts Center, Chengdu 12,000 2020
Dallas Fuel USA Allen Event Center, Allen, Dallas 8,000 2019
Dallas Fuel USA Toyota Music Factory, Irving 4,000 2020
Dallas Fuel USA Esports Stadium Arlington, Arlington 2,200 2020
Florida Mayhem USA Watsco Center, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Miami 8,000 2020
Florida Mayhem USA Full Sail Live, Full Sail University, Winter Park, Orlando 1,500 2020
Guangzhou Charge China GBA Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center, Foshan 15,000 2020
Guangzhou Charge China Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou 8,600 2020
Hangzhou Spark China Hangzhou Grand Theater, Qiangjiang New City, Hangzhou 1,500 2020
Hangzhou Spark China Wuzhen Grand Theatre, Hangzhou 1,500 2020
Houston Outlaws USA Revention Music Center, Houston 2,400 2020
London Spitfire United Kingdom SSE Arena (Empire Pool/Wembley Arena), Wembley, London 12,500 2020
Los Angeles Gladiators USA The Novo by Microsoft at LA Live, Los Angeles 2,400 2020
Los Angeles Valiant USA The Novo by Microsoft at LA Live, Los Angeles 2,400 2019
New York Excelsior USA Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, Manhattan, New York 2,200 2020
Paris Eternal France Zenith Paris – La Villette, Paris 6,800 2020
Philadelphia Fusion USA The Met, Philadelphia 3,500 2020
Philadelphia Fusion USA Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey 10,500 2020
San Francisco Shock USA Cow Palace Arena & Event Center, Daly City 15,000 2020
San Francisco Shock USA San Jose Civic, San Jose 2,850 2020
San Francisco Shock USA San Jose Civic, San Jose 2,850 2020
Seoul Dynasty South Korea Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Dongdaemun, Seoul 2,700 2020
Toronto Defiant Canada Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto 2,500 2020
Vancouver Titans Canada Rogers Arena, Vancouver 6,000 2020
Washington Justice USA Entertainment and Sports Arena, Congress Heights, Washington 4,200 2020
Washington Justice USA The Anthem, Washington 3,000 2020

Teams[edit]

The current teams in Overwatch League are:

City Team Name Owner Team Announced First Season Links
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. and Royal Never Give Up 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 Hangzhou Spark 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 Vancouver Titans Aquilini Group 2018-09-07 [9] 2019
USA Washington Washington Justice Washington Esports Ventures 2018-09-07 [9] 2019

Seasons[edit]

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 (2019.02.14 - 2019.09.29) $5,000,000 San Francisco Shock Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans

Organization[edit]

Active[edit]

Organization
ID Name Position Join Date
USA Pete Vlastelica League Commissioner 2019-07-10
USA Jonathan Spector Director of Franchises & Competition 2016-??-??
USA CaptainPlanet Ben Trautman Live Stats Producer 2017-11-28
Sweden Reinforce Jonathan Larsson Game Producer 2019-02-14

Former[edit]

Former Organization
ID Name Position Join Date Leave Date New Organization
USA Nate Nanzer League Commissioner 2016-11-04 2019-05-24[12]
USA Alchemist Jason Baker Lead Observer 2017-10-01 2018-10-05[13]

Additional Content[edit]

References[edit]