Details have already been announced for the Overwatch League’s 2019 season and the changes that will come with it. The season will kick off at the Blizzard Arena this coming February in Los Angeles, and not only that, but eight new city teams are being added to the league. They will be split evenly between the Atlantic and Pacific Division. The Atlantic will be adding Toronto, Paris, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. The Pacific will be bringing in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Vancouver, and Chengdu.
The total of twenty teams will “play twenty-eight matches over four five-week stages, for a total of seven matches per stage.” The teams will have a more flexible schedule and will be visiting their home cities for many of the stages. The top ranked eight teams will move on to the Stage finals after the first three and will compete in a bracket format. Also, the All-Star break is imitating other sports and moving to the summer at a more central point in the season.
Finally, the postseason format is changing somewhat. Division winners and the next four teams in the standings will still qualify like normal, but with the league’s expansion two additional teams will be joining the playoffs. The two extra teams will be determined by a play-in tournament after the fourth Stage that will consist of sudden death matches involving the seventh through twelfth placed teams battling for the final postseason spots. This new miniature tournament will surely have fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the one-and-done situations the final playoffs teams will be put into. View the full announcement of all the new aspects of the league on the Overwatch League’s website.
Overwatch is a game that is not only widely popular across the globe, but it is one of the few games that has put Esports on the radar. This could be due to the sheer influence of Blizzard or the team mechanics that Overwatch require to be a successful unit. Fans in Atlanta, Paris, and the other new cities will no doubt be excited to see their team colors and uniforms as skins in the game just like the original twelve clubs.
Overwatch is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.