Overwatch League is Blizzard’s attempt at turning its highly successful multiplayer shooter into a fully fledged esport. So far the game has had a rather successful run with its Overwatch World Cup events among many others, so what sets this league apart? Here’s everything you need to know and every team you can get behind.
Overwatch League will pit 12 teams from around the world against each other in round-based competitive games. The inaugural season will run from Jan. 10 to Jun. 16, with the regular season divided into four stages of six weeks each. Wins and losses across each stage will combine to form a team’s seeding for the postseason, along with bonuses for teams who finish top of each stage.
There are 12 teams all up, split into two conferences; Atlantic and Pacific. The top four teams from each division at the end of the regular season will compete in the postseason, played across Jul. 11-22, with the final on Jul. 26–28 determining the champion and winner of the USD $1 million grand prize.
Schedules and results can be found via the official Overwatch League website, where every game is telecast live.
Overwatch tournaments are generally run under a particular set of rules. Two teams will compete across four rounds, plus an optional sudden death round if teams are tied 2-2, with 1 point awarded to the winner of each round and 0 points for either a draw or defeat. General rules are similar across previous tournaments and the Overwatch World Cup.
Players are free to choose their character, though most have a chosen particular roles to play within each team (either DPS, Support, Tank or Flex). All games are played out of Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
MERCH AND SKINS
As with traditional sports, each team has a designated collection of merchandise and gear for fans that can be purchased via the official website, with team jerseys and the like.
For Overwatch players in particular, Blizzard will add a new currency that can be collected in-game that can spent on skins representing each team. Called League Tokens, they can be used to purchase specific team skins in their particular color, and will be implemented in 2018. Players will be given enough tokens at launch to select at least one skin to begin with, though currently it is unclear if tokens are only available for purchase or can be collected in-game during particular online modes.
The first season of Overwatch League consists of 12 teams, spanning the US, Europe, and Asia. Click through to discover more about each team, their in-game skins and more.