Blizzard’s Overwatch League has taken another leap with details of player remuneration policy as well as benefits that each player will be legally entitled to under league regulation.
The release from Blizzard outlines a few key benefits that are included in the Overwatch League Player Agreement. They read as follows:
- Teams will sign players to one-year guaranteed contracts with the option to extend the contract for an additional year.
- The minimum salary for players is USD $50,000 per year.
- Teams will provide players with health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
- Teams will distribute at least 50% of their team performance bonuses (i.e. money from winning playoffs and other League events) to their players directly.
The initial prize money or “team performance bonuses” available to teams will be $3.5 million for Season 1, with the winners receiving at least $1 million in performance related bonuses. Thus a minimum of $500,000 will be fed through to the players on the winning teams.
Other notable announcements include that each team can have a maximum of 12 players signed to the roster. Additionally, there is no region locking in terms of the place of birth or home country of any player — thus allowing the plethora of Korean talent to be signed to the United States based franchises. As expected, teams will be required to provide player housing and practice facilities during the season which will “meet professional standards” set by the Overwatch League.
Interestingly, the release also states that every single player is now considered a free agent with regards to the Overwatch League. The signing window opens for the Overwatch League on August 1st. The window remains open for three months, closing on October 30th.
Should each player be a free agent for every signing window, questions will likely remain about a tier two scene and having a roster in the Contenders. If there’s no way you can monetise transfers to a bigger team, is there any point in having a team in the lower echelons of competitive Overwatch?
As things stand, seven franchises have been revealed for the launch of the Overwatch League, which, judging by the close of the signing window, will get underway in November at the earliest. With seven teams with a maximum of 12 players, that’s a grand total of 84 players that can compete in the OWL. Of course, there’s only 42 that will actually be guaranteed a starting place.
Esports Insider says: More news from the OWL. It’s not surprising that these rules have been put in place as they continue to become more transparent about the league. It’s another piece in the proverbial OWL jigsaw, but we still have no idea when it starts amongst other things. We’re sure there’ll be more big news in coming weeks and months.