Season Two of the Overwatch League is kicking off this summer, but only the best of the best will get a chance to participate. We’ll see the top six players on a team, but what about a country’s top 30, or top 100? With the introduction of a new league, Blizzard is offering them a chance to shine.
Overwatch Contenders, the new program, is a development league for “aspiring Overwatch League professionals,” as Blizzard calls it.
“Over the first year of organized Overwatch competition, we’ve seen an incredible exhibition of skill at Overwatch APEX in South Korea, the Overwatch Pacific Championship in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Overwatch Premier series in China,” Blizzard wrote in its announcement post. “It’s time to bring that level of competition to the West.”
For Season Zero, there’s an open signup and only-only qualifier to see if you can earn a spot in one of the top eight teams in the North American and European servers. There’s more than just a title at stake—Blizzard is offering a prize pool of $50,000 for each of these qualifying tournaments. The top six North American teams from this round will advance to the actual Season One, where they’ll be joined by APEX teams Envy and Rogue for a round-robin style competition with a prize pool of $100,000.
“Of course, there is more than cash on the line,” Blizzard writes. “With organizations looking to fill their rosters for the launch of the Overwatch League, all eyes will be watching this summer’s competitive showcase.”
On top of all that, yet another path towards Overwatch fame will open up in 2018 via the Overwatch Open Division. This tournament will help funnel promising players into Overwatch Contenders, and from there to the Overwatch League.
For more information, read the full rundown over at the official Overwatch Contenders website.