Nate Nanzer, the Commissioner of the Overwatch League, released a statement today after the launch of Overwatch Contenders and the Overwatch Open Division. These are both preludes to the Overwatch League, Blizzard’s big esports circuit centered around Overwatch. This statement did not have concrete updates on the upcoming League, but announced a data finding mission. The announcement states:
The brilliant esports action these and other events across the globe have showcased recently has left us inspired and hungry for more. We know that you are excited for the launch of the Overwatch League, and believe me, we’re right there with you. We’re all itching to see which competitors will make it to the next level as rosters full of world-class players are meticulously crafted.
To help this team-building process happen smoothly and effectively, the Overwatch League Office will be compiling a scouting report, which will be available to all Overwatch League team owners.
On June 27 we sent out an email survey to a select group of top players from around the world who can now opt to be included in this report. These players were chosen based on specific criteria:
A top-500 finish in Competitive Play (based on Skill Rating) in Overwatch Seasons 3 or 4 for any region
A playoff finish in recent high-caliber tournaments such as APEX Season 2 or Premier Series 2017 Spring, or an invitation to Pacific Championship 2017 Season 1
Other distinguishing qualifications indicative of top-tier talent, including but not limited to membership on an established professional Overwatch team
On top of this, all included players must have accounts that are in good standing with Blizzard and meet other legal requirements for age and eligibility to participate in professional competition as specified in each country’s laws.
The purpose of this survey is to create a pool of available talent interested in participating in the Overwatch League, at which point team owners can presumably draft and assemble them for their own ventures. This may be similar to the League of Legends contract database, which documents which players are free agents and which ones are signed to an organization.
In gathering and organizing this data, our intent is to provide teams with a useful tool to support a roster-building strategy; we are not saying that this information should override other important factors. Statistics, as we know, are only one piece of the puzzle in determining what makes an Overwatch player great, but we wanted to ensure that every great Overwatch player is presented to team owners on a level, transparent playing field for consideration.
Nanzer goes on to thank the Overwatch community for their passion, dedication, and interest.
Blizzard’s Overwatch League has been shrouded in mystery since its initial announcements. While there has been a slew of announcements in recent days, we’ve also seen teams who are unwilling or unable to brave the current unknown frontier of Overwatch pull out of the scene entirely. Notably, Ninjas in Pyjamas has left the Overwatch scene, leaving their team Rest in Pyjamas to compete in the Contenders Season Zero tournament, where they have advanced to the final round, without a sponsor.
This latest announcement seems to be just part of Blizzard’s upcoming vision, with Nanzer stating that: “We see you, and we are building the Overwatch League to be worthy of your passion. Thank you for believing in us, and keep an eye out for more news coming soon.”