Overwatch League reveals roster construction rules for 2022 season

Keep an eye on key dates as the "rosterpocalypse" begins.

Photo via Overwatch League

The Overwatch League’s 2021 season playoffs haven’t even started yet, but the league is already looking toward the future. With an anticipated fifth season kickoff in April 2022, played on an early build of Overwatch 2, the league has announced its roster construction rules for next season. 

Overall, there aren’t as many changes as fans might expect, but some key numbers have shifted thanks to the league’s transition to the five-vs-five competitive system in Overwatch 2.

Teams will be required to have a minimum of six players signed to a roster, moving down from the seven required in 2021. Twelve players will still be the maximum roster size going into 2022. 

For the past four years, the Overwatch League has mandated a minimum salary of $50,000 for all players. This amount has been increased to $50,700 “to reflect a cost-of-living adjustment based on global inflation rates,” according to the new rules

Other key parts of roster construction have remained unchanged from 2021. Season-long contracts have a minimum length of one season and “include a unilateral team option” to extend the contract for another season. This basically means a team can make the first call to extend a player’s contract before they become a free agent. 

Overwatch League teams can still sign players to 30-day contracts provided the team already meets the minimum six required players. Two-way contracts are also still on deck, allowing members to play for both an Overwatch League team and an Overwatch Contenders team.

What fans need to pay attention to as the “rosterpocalypse” part of the 2021 offseason begins is the key dates related to roster construction. Teams can begin trades as early as Sept. 26, the day after the 2021 Grand Finals take place. 

By Oct. 2, teams have to extend existing player contracts or players may become free agents on Oct. 9. Teams can begin signing free agents—players who no longer have buyout fees associated with other league teams—as early as Oct. 10.

Teams must have a minimum of five players signed by Jan. 3, 2022, and must have a “full” roster of six players by March 1, 2022.