Overwatch League (OWL) season 2 signing season begins shortly, but do you have a chance to become an Overwatch pro? Overwatch Contenders has put together a FAQ to help educate potential esports stars who are taking the ‘path to pro’.
Q1: What is the age of eligibility to sign an Overwatch League contract?
A1: To sign an Overwatch League player contract you must turn 18 no later than June 1, 2019. If your birthday is later than June 1, 2001, you are not eligible to play on an Overwatch League team in the 2019 season.
Q2: When can I sign a contract with an Overwatch League team?
A2: If the Overwatch League team contacting you is an “expansion team” (meaning they did not play in Season 1 of the Overwatch League), you may sign a contract with them starting September 9, 2018. If the Overwatch League team contacting you is a team that competed in Season 1, you may sign a contract with them starting October 8, 2018.
Q3: Can I speak with Overwatch League team management directly?
A3: Yes, you or your representative can speak directly to the Overwatch League team. You do not need to communicate via your Contenders team, and during the free agent signing period, you must be allowed to speak with and participate in tryouts for Overwatch League teams.
If you play on a Contenders team that is NOT an Academy team of one of the Overwatch League teams, you can speak directly with representatives of any Overwatch League team without the knowledge of your Contenders team. Within 24 hours after you have been contacted, the Overwatch League team contacting you has an obligation to inform your Contenders team that the Overwatch League team called you.
If you play on a Contenders team that IS an Academy team of one of the Overwatch League teams, you can speak directly with representatives of any Overwatch League team only 24 hours after such Overwatch League team has notified your Contenders team of their intent to contact you. This notification is not your responsibility, it is the responsibility of the Overwatch League team contacting you; however, you should ask whether or not the Overwatch League team has provided such notice to your current Contenders team prior to entering discussions with the Overwatch League team.
Q4: Who negotiates the terms of my contract with the Overwatch League team?
A4: You or your representative negotiate the terms of your own contract directly with the Overwatch League team and decide whether to accept any contract offers you might receive. Your Contenders team does not have the right to negotiate your contract, other than any buyout provision (see Q5 below), which your Contenders team negotiates directly with the Overwatch League team.
Q5: Can my Contenders team demand a buyout of my contract from an Overwatch League team?
A5: Yes, if you are currently under written contract with your Contenders team for a fixed term, your team can require a buyout payment from the Overwatch League team you sign with for up to 100% of your Overwatch League average base salary amount plus any Overwatch League signing bonus. Your Contenders team is responsible for negotiating this buyout directly with the Overwatch League team. If the Overwatch League team you have signed with agrees to pay the maximum required buyout, your Contenders organization must accept that payment and release you to join Overwatch League.
Q6: Can my Contenders team determine which Overwatch League team I can sign with?
A6: No, your team cannot direct where you choose to sign unless you play for an Overwatch League Academy team. If you play for an Academy team and your contract grants your Academy team’s Overwatch League affiliate a right to match the contract offered by another Overwatch League team, that right to match provision will be enforceable. At a minimum, the affiliated Overwatch League team must agree to match the competing offer’s base salary, signing bonus, roster bonus, any other non-performance base bonus, and economic terms relating to player streaming. The matching period must be limited to 7 days. Your Academy team is responsible for negotiating this ‘right to match’.
Overwatch League has put together an official page to track player movements throughout the offseason. To view the Overwatch League roster changes click here. The OWL roster change page will be updated daily. You can also follow us on Twitter as we will be announcing major roster changes.