Understanding the Overwatch League: A Guide To Blizzard’s Esport

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2016-05-24
roadhog and junkrat
You won't be seeing a lot of these guys. Blizzard

The Overwatch League starts on Wednesday, Jan. 10, finally fulfilling a promise Blizzard President Mike Morheim made on the 2016 Blizzcon stage. Condensing the highly hectic hero shooter into a weekly tournament with teams from around the world wasn’t easy, but fans are finally going to get the chance to see what true pro Overwatch is going to look like. With amazing casting talent, including industry veterans MonteCristo and Doa, fans unable to visit the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles will still be able to experience all the esports action. If you’re having trouble understanding what this tournament is, allow Player.One to help you out.

Format

12 teams based in cities like New York, Boston and Shanghai will compete in a five-week season where teams will play a total of 40 games, ending in a playoffs and world championship. The whole thing will take six months, giving fans plenty of time to get acclimated to the burgeoning esport. Each team is placed in either the Atlantic or Pacific Division, playing half their games in each. Games will be streamed on Twitch, with three matches played four days a week.

Each match features six players, though each team can have an additional six substitutes swapped out between games. Each match will consist of four games taking place across all game modes, Control, Escort, Assault and Hybrid. If teams are still tied after four games, a tie-breaker will take place on a Control Map to decide the winner.

Teams

The 12 teams competing in the first season of the Overwatch League come from traditional sports or past esports dynasties, all desperate to get a spot on Blizzard’s new venture. Learning about individual players and backstories might sound daunting, but reddit users shomman and seagull_no1_fanboy have done an amazing job at summarizing the teams. Here are all the teams competing:

Dallas Fuel
Los Angeles Gladiators
Los Angeles Valiant
San Francisco Shock
Seoul Dynasty
Shanghai Dragons

Boston Uprising
Houston Outlaws
London Spitfire
Florida Mayhem
New York Excelsior
Philadelphia Fusion

Schedule

Regular Season

Stage 1- Jan. 10 - Feb. 10
Stage 2- Feb. 21 - March 24
Stage 3- April 4 - May 5
Stage 4- May 16 - June 16

Playoffs

Playoffs- July 11 - 22
Grand Finals- July 26 - 28

All-Star Games- Aug. 10 – 12

Where To Watch

You can see all the matches on the Overwatch League’s Twitch stream. There’s also an app on iOS and Android that has schedules, standings and news.

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