Blizzard Entertainment has announced Overwatch Contenders, a development league for future professionals for the multiplayer first-person shooter.
Overwatch Contenders is going to be a multi-stage process that will give any team the opportunity to work their way up the tournament ladder in a more formalized environment compared to the current in-game Competitive offerings. Season Zero of Contenders will be an open signup, online-only qualifier for teams from North America and Europe who would like to test their mettle against their peers. The top eight teams in each of the two regions will ultimately be competing for $50,000 prize pools.
North America's Season One of Contenders will feature the top six Season Zero contenders alongside APEX participants Envy and Rogue. The teams will engage in six weeks of round-robin play. The four teams that emerge from this bracket will duke it out in an offline tournament for a $100,000 prize pool. As for the European side of things, the top eight European teams will similarly compete in Season One of Contenders within their region, ultimately leading to four teams competing for a $100,000 prize pool.
If you don't think you and your buddies can make the cut, fear not - once Overwatch Contenders is underway, Blizzard Entertainment is opening up an additional opportunity for new teams to entry the fray. The Overwatch Open Division will be a tournament series taking place in select regions beginning in 2018. Open Division will act as a bridge between the easy-to-access in-game Competitive Play and the more formalized play of Contenders. Any teams that would like to participate must be comprised of members at Masters rank or higher.
To sign up for this latest venture from Blizzard Entertainment, head on over to the official website.
What do you think of Overwatch Contenders? Do you think Blizzard is doing a good job of setting up a tournament system for their latest game? Do you think companies should largely control their own e-sports leagues & tournaments or should it be run by independent organizations unaffiliated with the game's developers and publishers? Let us know in the comments below!