Much like a traditional sports team, the expansion Vancouver Overwatch League franchise will need to build a competitive roster.  What’s slightly different than a traditional sports league however, is that the franchise won’t be given the opportunity to grow itself through an expansion draft.  The only mechanism to growth is through free agency (or the potential of transfers).

So what are the rules behind free agency?  Glad you asked.

Torbjorn, Mercy, Tracer, Reinhardt
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Free Agency

Between August 1, 2018 and September 8, 2018 a signing window opened to allow existing teams to negotiate contract extensions and to sign players from their affiliated Contenders team (the farm team in traditional sports speak).

When this window closed, inaugural-season contracts officially came to an end and any players not under contract became free agents.  A new window then opened.

From September 9, 2018 to October 7, 2018 the expansion teams are given an exclusive window to sign free agents.  In fact, as of this post a few free agents have already signed – just not with Vancouver.

And finally, on October 8, 2018 the free agent window will open to entire league.

Other Key Dates & Notes

  • December 1, 2018 – all teams must have a minimum of 8 players under contract.
  • May 1, 2001 – players born before this date are eligible to sign an Overwatch League contract.
  • Player contracts can now be negotiated up to three years in length (with max of one year as option on top of one or two guaranteed years).  This differs from the inaugural season where the max contract was one year plus one option.