Blizzard have built it – and they’ve rinsed everyone to take part – but will they come? We’ll find out soon enough: the Overwatch League starts today.
The Overwatch League, Blizzard’s attempt to merge esports and city-based franchises – kind of like the NFL or NBA – kicks off in earnest today. It’s the first esports arrangement of its type; perhaps there’s a reason for that? Something to do with obscene franchise fees… anyway.
Here are the twelve teams lining up against one another in the first season of the Overwatch League:
- Boston Uprising (Kraft Group)
- Dallas Fuel (Team Envy)
- Florida Mayhem (Misfits)
- Houston Outlaws (OpTic Gaming)
- London Spitfire (Cloud9)
- Los Angeles Gladiators (Stan and Josh Kroenke)
- Los Angeles Valiant (Immortals)
- New York Excelsior (Jeff Wilpon and SterlingVC)
- Philadelphia Fusion (Comcast Spectacor)
- San Francisco Shock (NRG eSports)
- Seoul Dynasty (Kevin Chou)
- Shanghai Dragons (NetEase)
Today’s first matches will feature the Pacific teams, specifically:
- San Francisco Shock vs. Los Angeles Valiant
- Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Gladiators
- Dallas Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty.
The Atlantic teams will start their contest tomorrow, exact match-ups to be confirmed.
“But I’m not near the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles! Where can I watch this cavalcade of esports?” I hear you cry.
Viewers can tune in to catch all the action on Twitch, MLG.com and the MLG app (on iOS and Android), and at OverwatchLeague.com. There’s also an Overwatch League companion app available now, for both iOS and Android. ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV are expected to be the official broadcasting platforms of the Overwatch League in China, and we be handling live streaming and coverage duties in the areas of the world that Twitch just can’t reach.
The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June 2018, with play-offs scheduled for July.