This week developer Blizzard is pushing hard to make Overwatch a serious esport. Overwatch League is the company’s big esports initiative, and its first season kicks off today.
Overwatch League pits 12 teams of professional Overwatch players against one another during a season that’s scheduled to last six months. At the end, the reigning team will be this year’s Overwatch champions. And along the way, winners of various stages during the season will receive a total of $3.5 million in reward money.
You can buy tickets for the live matches if you happen to be in Los Angeles area when they occur. (Here’s the schedule). Otherwise, you can stream them on Overwatch League, Twitch, or MLG. Blizzard will also make recordings of previous matches available for anyone unable to tune in live.
Blizzard has divided Overwatch League teams into the Pacific Division and the Atlantic Division. These are permanent teams based in cities around the globe. The Pacific Division features teams like the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Seoul Dynasty, while the Atlantic side covers a similarly wide range of geography, including the Houston Outlaws and the London Spitfire.
To help fans keep track of Overwatch League news, Blizzard has just released an official app for iOS and Android. It offers things like live streams of matches, news, standings, schedules, and alerts for when your favorite team is about to play.
Overwatch players won’t be left twiddling their thumbs, either. You’ll be able to dress your character in skins for each Overwatch League team. To get the new skins, you’ll need a new in-game currency called League Tokens. If you log in between now and Feb. 13, you’ll get 100 League Tokens for free—enough to buy one skin. If you want more skins, you can buy more Tokens in bundles that range from $5 to $100. Blizzard says it will split proceeds on the skins with the teams.