CHANGES DUE TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
For its first three years since its creation, the Overwatch League kicked off earlier in the year. However, with a global pandemic and uncertainty, there needed to be some changes made for the 2021 season. It is the first time, the season will take place with remote matches.
Another reason is that Jacob’Jake’Lyon, who called it quits after this last professional play following the 2019 OWL season.
“To take full advantage of what was learned last season, we’ve made several changes that will improve the quality of competition and the fan experience for this coming season,” Blizzard says.
SCHEDULE AND STRUCTURE
The Overwatch League Season schedule was just released. The season begins on April 16, 2021. There will be a total number of 208 games.
Each team will have 16 regular season qualifying matches, plus four additional contests in the tournament. The teams will be divided based on location, East vs West. All teams will also compete for a 4.25 million dollar prize pool.
Philadelphia Fusion has moved its business to South Korea and LA Variant has relocated its business to China.
The numerous Chinese franchises like the Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Shanghai Dragons, Chengdu Hunters, and South Korean franchises Seoul Dynasty and New York Excelsior make the eastern region. The other 12 teams to conclude the 2021 Overwatch League will compete in the Western region.
The two divisions are broken down like this, one region is for the teams from both China and South Korea, while the other region is for the teams in Europe and North America.
The top four teams of each region will be qualified for four major tournaments that will happen throughout the season. The full schedule for the competitions is not out at the moment.
OWL is featuring nineteen teams from North America, Europe, China, and South Korea. Blizzard is doing its best to ensure the best tournament experience for not only its players but also those that are viewing throughout the world.
It said to be,” A new system that establishes minimum latency connections so that teams anywhere in the world can scrimmage against one another or conduct practices if players are apart.”
The league needs to do everything in its power to keep the viewership up as they made some costly errors in the past. One mistake they made was changing its broadcast from Twitch to YouTube. The sudden change was proven to be a huge mistake as there was a sharp decline in viewership throughout the whole event.
While the season will be done through a remote setting, Blizzard is not ruling out the return of live matches.
The season will kick-off on April 16 when the Houston Outlaws play against the Dallas Fuel, and the defending champions, San Francisco Shock will be battling the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Overwatch League Prize Pool
The playoffs will be intense as the San Francisco Shock is looking to three-peat. Eight teams will get a ticket to the playoffs and the champions will receive a massive Overwatch league prize of $1.5 million dollars.
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