Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer has discussed player treatment and expansion plans in a new interview with Dot Esports.
Here’s your thorough breakdown of the Overwatch League.
On implementing a draft system – an exciting pre-season feature of many traditional sports in which teams pick players – Nanzer says the main obstacle is anti-trust law, because a draft essentially forces a player to play for a team. “At such time when we have a players’ union with collective bargaining, then we would totally explore doing a draft,” he says.
“It was really important to us in designing the Overwatch League that we created a league where players were treated really well. I think we’ve takena lot of steps to do that. But if players decide that it’s in the best interest to form a union, of course we’d be supportive of that and have those discussions.”
The Overwatch League has by most measures been a success so far, but not an unqualified one.The League has had to cite its player Code of Conduct when handing out punishments to players such as Dallas Fuel’s Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen, Houston Outlaws’ head coach Tae-yeong ‘TaiRong’ Kim, and Fuel’sFélix ‘xQc’ Lengyel.
The player Code of Conduct has been another point of contention. It was only published after the community demanded more transparency from Blizzard about the standards to which they held their players, and even then only partially.
Nanzer says it is “pretty standard issue stuff,” and was agreed in mutual negotiations with the players in a big summit before the season started. “We also did media training for all the players. We had a really great media trainer come in and do sessions with all the players. We set all our expectations.”
The Nanzer interview is here at Dot Esports, and is well worth a read in full.