All players in the Overwatch League will be guaranteed a $50,000 a year minimum salary, along with benefits, through the Overwatch League Player Agreement, Blizzard announced Wednesday.
According to a Blizzard press release, all OWL players will be required to sign the player agreement with their teams, which will ensure they get the minimum salary, along with benefits including health insurance, a retirement savings plan, and at least 50 percent of all prize money earned through the OWL. Teams will also be entirely responsible for their players' salaries. The press release states that for the first season of the OWL the winning team will receive $1 million of a total $3.5 million in performance bonuses.
Blizzard states that every single Overwatch player in the world is eligible to be signed to play in the OWL, as long as they are 18 or older. Players who are already signed to competitive Overwatch teams are able to sign with any team of their choice, and teams already in the OWL that already have players signed to their rosters (namely, Misfits, NRG Esports and Immortals) will not automatically retain their rosters when the OWL starts. All players will be able to negotiate with all teams, and sign the player agreement with the team of their choice.
On July 12, OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer told theScore esports that teams would not necessarily be broken up ahead of the OWL starting, and would be able to keep their rosters if they chose to. In an emailed statement the same day, Misfits CEO Ben Spoont told theScore esports that the team "intend[s] to field the strongest possible roster entering Overwatch League, which will include us carrying over and adding as many assets as possible in order to achieve that goal."
The official OWL player signing window for season one will begin on Aug. 1 and run through Oct. 30, however Blizzard did not include a start date for the OWL in the press release. Teams will be required to have six players on their roster, and be limited to 12 total with no region locking. Teams will also be required to provide housing and practice facilities for players during the season.
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.