OWL lowers the minimum player age to 17

While 17-year-old players are not yet of legal age, at least now in Overwatch, they can sign contracts as... Eduardo | 22. December 2022

While 17-year-old players are not yet of legal age, at least now in Overwatch, they can sign contracts as professionals in esports.

While we still don’t have a date for the start of the 2023 Overwatch League season, several changes have been announced regarding minimum age regulations on players, which, of course, are for the good of the competition.

The OWL claims that the delays regarding the start date of the new season are related to world events and demolished associations.

17-year-old players can now sign contracts in Overwatch

Just days before the next Overwatch free agency period, OWL director Sean Miller announced a general rule change that will foster a much more competitive environment.

Miller made it known on his official Twitter account that starting with the 2023 season, any player who is 17 years of age or older will be able to join the Overwatch League.

This is a significant change from the minimum age players had to play in the OWL in the first five years of competitions.

As we can see, Miller’s announcement reads:

“As we look towards the FA window opening on Friday, we’re excited to share that our minimum age for OWL competition will be 17 starting in 2023; in a free-to-play world, we want to make the top level of Overwatch competition as accessible and inclusive as possible.”

Some people have also expressed their support for this decision. Still, they emphasize that each organization must be attentive to players of this age’s physical and mental health.

Young players are the winners of this change

Undoubtedly, this decision taken by the OWL will open the doors to new talents to play in different Overwatch organizations at the highest competitive level.

Many players under 18 years old commonly have an exceptional talent for some video games, and this regulation affected them when they made the giant professional leap.

That is why many young prodigies are left out of the signing window for only a few days every year and often remain on the bench for the first part of the season, only to make this giant leap when they come of age.

Uncertain Future at the OWL

It’s no secret to anyone that the outlook for the future of OWL is not good at the moment.

First, negotiations between NetEase (the publisher that distributed Blizzard titles in China) and Overwatch developers broke down at the beginning of 2022.

This will directly affect four of the teams belonging to OWL-based in China, plus a fifth that another company manages in this country. This disagreement between NetEase and Blizzard could dismantle and cause a restructuring of the eastern region in 2023.

It all comes down to December 23. This date, which kicks off the OWL off-season, is when fans are waiting for more news from the organizers.

Header: OWL | Blizzard Entertainment