'Overwatch' news: New esports league branch expands into Houston and Philadelphia

Blizzard website"Hanzo" gets ready for the new eSports league for his game "Overwatch."

After the eSports league expansion of "Overwatch" in London and Los Angeles back in August, Blizzard Entertainment, the game's developer is back at it again with two new league deals in the United States.

Recently, ESPN reported that Blizzard sealed a deal with Comcast Spectacor in Philadelphia, while in Houston, OpTic Gaming has secured the rights to an "Overwatch" eSports team. The rights for each of the two spots reportedly cost each team a $20 million entry fee.

The total number of spots for season 1 of the "Overwatch" eSports league is 14, 13 of which Blizzard has recruited. So far, Blizzard has been reportedly trying to recruit another team in Chicago, even pursuing Wesley Edens, the co-owner of the NBA Milwaukee Bucks. 

The lucky competitors of the "Overwatch" eSports league will get to have an extendable one-year contract with a minimum salary of $50,000 per year, health insurance, and a retirement savings plan for each player, all to be provided by the team. Then, they can also get 50% of the team's performance bonuses, which can be obtained from wins and other league events. The bonuses are expected to be around $3.5 million for season 1, with $1 million going to the winner of the championship, as confirmed by Shacknews.

This will surely entice more teams into Blizzard's planned league and boost the rapidly growing popularity of the online first-person shooter (FPS) even more.

As for the two new teams, Spectacor and OpTic, neither has tried out in previous competition. That said, OpTic has more veterancy with its "Call of Duty" and "Halo" participation compared to Spectacor. Spectacor has never joined any eSports stints before, essentially making this their first eSports venture.

Although no exact league launch dates have been announced by Blizzard, the gaming giant is expecting to commence season 1 of the "Overwatch" eSports league later in the year, with regular season matches taking place in Los Angeles, California.