The Overwatch League, a city-based esports league with permanent teams, was only announced last November. Since then, potential owners have been maneuvering for their piece of the action. Today comes word that Blizzard itself is looking to prime the pump with an open invitation to join Overwatch Contenders, a developmental league for aspiring pros. Winners could earn cash prizes and the attention of pro teams looking to fill out their roster.
Registration for season zero starts today, and matches start June 3.
“If you and your team have what it takes to compete with the best in the West, Overwatch Contenders is your chance to shine,” Blizzard announced today in a press release. “To find the top teams on the North American and European servers, Season Zero of Overwatch Contenders will be an open signup, online-only qualifier to determine the top eight teams in each of those two regions. Each of these tournaments will have a prize pool of USD $50,000.”
The top six North American teams will be joined by teams Envy and Rogue, participants in South Korea’s Overwatch APEX tournament, for Overwatch Contenders season one. The four best teams will advance to a playoff, where they’ll fight for a $100,000 prize pool. Simultaneously, a European tournament will whittle down the open field in season zero to four teams, who will also duke it out in a playoff for a second $100,000 prize pool.
“Of course, there is more than cash on the line,” Blizzard said, “with organizations looking to fill their rosters for the launch of the Overwatch League, all eyes will be watching this summer’s competitive showcase.
“Once Overwatch Contenders is underway, up-and-coming teams will have additional opportunities to demonstrate their prowess via the Overwatch Open Division. This tournament series will take place in select regions around the world, and in 2018, will offer emerging teams a path to Overwatch Contenders seasons in each region. If you are Masters rank or higher, and you dare to see where your Overwatch skills can take you, then stay tuned for more information on Open Division signups.”
More information, including how to register yourself or your team, can be found at the Overwatch Contenders website.