Europe’s top pro Overwatch team is “all in” on making Las Vegas the home city for an Overwatch League squad.
The celebrity-owned Rogue relocated from Europe to Sin City six months ago, before Steve Aoki’s October investment in the team. The hope is that their new home base will let them compete in the U.S. Overwatch League.
Rogue founder Frank Villarreal confirmed to Mashable that they’re in the running.
Yes, we are bidding in Vegas. In late August the players came to Vegas to bootcamp and have been traveling tournament to tournament full-time since then, but [the] team’s “home town” will be Vegas and they will live here once the tournaments are over.
That confirmation amounts to a vote of confidence in Blizzard’s new league. If Overwatch League is to be sustainable, it’s going to need the involvement of established teams.
Blizzard modeled its Overwatch League structure after traditional sports teams, with signing bonuses and benefits factoring into player contracts. Individual cities will be home to privately owned teams, with locations determined through the bidding process the Rogue is now participating in.
Leagues like Counter Strike and Call of Duty have offered minimum salaries before, but Overwatch League seems to go further to protect the interests of its players.
Issues with job security, compensation and regulation in professional esports were highlighted on Monday in a letter sent to Riot Games that was signed by 18 North American and European League of Legends teams.
The Overwatch league has been an item of interest since its unofficial announcement in October, and excitement only grew in November with the more formal BlizzCon announcement. It is slated to launch next year in North America first, with Europe, China, South Korea and other Asia-Pacific regions to follow at an unspecified time.