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Overwatch League Players Will Get Paid

Quite a few months ago I passed along the info on this new Overwatch League thing Blizzard is trying to create. Essentially they're setting up their own Lingerie Football League but it's for video games and there are less wedgies (I assume). Since the official announcement details haven't exactly been flying from camp Blizz but today they had a big blog post that highlights some specifics of the new league. The big one is how much players will make.

The League minimum is 50K and they're requiring team owners to offer health insurance, some sort of 401K/retirement program and housing during the season. That's not bad. I mean it's weird/not weird that they expect you to move into a house with your team. That's pretty standard stuff for professional gaming I guess, but it's certainly not ideal if you want any sort of family life.... which I guess if you did you wouldn't be a professional video gamer, but whatever, I digress.

The minimum salary will be boosted by winnings earned in the league and tournaments. $3.5 million is supposedly up for grabs during the first season. On paper it sounds great, it will be interesting to see if Blizzard can make it all work in practice. One of the big obstacles I see stopping it is presentation. You need viewers for a league like this to work and there's a pretty big difference in watching streams on twitch and actually watching an entire 6v6 match up. Fighting games and strategy games lead themselves to showing all or most of the action on one screen. With an Overwatch tournament you have to be constantly switching first person points of view to tell what's actually happening in a match. The one tournament I watched was ok but it was less than ideal. The presentation leaned heavy on the announcers explaining what was happening.

I wish everyone involved luck, the more professional video gaming out there the better. My son is going to need a job eventually.

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