The Overwatch League start date is just two months away, and Blizzard has finally revealed how exactly Season One of the eSports tournament will play out.
For those not in the know, the Overwatch League includes 12 teams based in several cities around the world, and is a herculean effort in bringing eSports to the mainstream with the help of the massively popular multiplayer shooter.
Overwatch League: How Will It Play Out?
According to Nate Nanzer, the commissioner of the Overwatch League, the regular season will see each of the 12 teams play twice per week across the four game days of Wednesday to Saturday. There will be three matches played every day, and the start times of the matches will vary so that more people will be able to watch them. Each match will also take place across four maps, which means that there is a possibility for draws between two teams.
Season One will be made up of four stages, with each stage running for five weeks. At the end of each stage, a seeded playoff for the top three teams will be held to determine the winner of that stage, with that team taking home a prize of $125,000. There will be a 10-day break before the next stage begins.
The teams of the Overwatch League are divided into two divisions, namely the Pacific Division and the Atlantic Division. The Pacific Division is composed of the Dallas Fuel, the Los Angeles Gladiators, the Los Angeles Valiant, the San Francisco Shock, the Seoul Dynasty, and the Shanghai Dragons. The Atlantic Division, on the other hand, is composed of the Boston Uprising, the Florida Mayhem, the Houston Outlaws, the London Spitfire, the New York Excelsior, and the Philadelphia Fusion. Throughout the course of Season One, each team will play 20 games against teams within their division and 20 games against teams of the other division.
At the end of Season One, taking into account the overall record across all stages, the top team of each division goes straight into the postseason and gets a bye week. They will be joined by the four best teams regardless of division, and they will all battle it out to be crowned the first Overwatch League champions, who will be taking home a grand prize of $1 million.
The Overwatch League starts on Jan. 10, 2018, but preseason will begin on Dec. 6.
Blizzard Firing Up The Overwatch League
Blizzard has been driving up the hype for the Overwatch League, with moves to give viewers a better eSports experience with features such as home and away colors for the teams and a top-down interactive map to help keep track of what's going on in games.
Overwatch was a major part of BlizzCon 2017, where Blizzard announced the new healer hero Moira and the new map Blizzard World, so it will be interesting to see how much buzz the Overwatch League generates once it goes online. Razer also unveiled a line of D.Va gaming accessories, which would look good on D.Va users among the Overwatch League teams.