Home » OVERWATCH » Big Changes for OWL Season Two

The second season of the Overwatch League has kicked off—possibly the best Valentine’s Day present we’ve ever received. What new developments in the league are going to elevate the excitement and competition of season two to new levels? Read on to find out.



New teams.

This season of Overwatch league welcomes eight new teams from across the world, bringing the total of competing teams up to twenty. This means more merch, more rivalries, and most importantly, more matches to enjoy in the regular season.

While many of these new rosters are composed of players who will be making their debut in the League, some of the expansion teams were able to snag players from season one’s competitors. Toronto Defiant signed former LA Gladiator’s DPS-expert Asher, and Paris Eternal managed to snag SoOn from the LA Valiant and Genji-legend ShaDowBurn from Philadelphia Fusion, who came in second overall last season. These player-swaps are sure to inflame some new rivalries and will make games that much more interesting as these players come up against their former teammates.

The logos of all 20 Overwatch League teams are displayed in a 5x4 grid.

Team logos as displayed on the Overwatch League official website.

New heroes.

Overwatch has gone through a number of game-altering updates since the inaugural season’s kickoff last January. Brigitte, Wrecking Ball, and Ashe have all been released in the last year, and have already made their appearances during Community Countdown events. We can also expect to see a great deal more of Moira now that she’s been out for a full year and is part of a few regional metas (GOATS, anyone?). Each of these new heroes opens up exciting opportunities for team composition and for meta-shattering combos that will bring unpredictable new plays to the second season.

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New maps.

Blizzard World, Rialto, and Busan will all be fair game in the new season. Blizzard World didn’t enter the map pool until stage three of last season, but we’ll see it in the regular rotation from the get-go this season. If Blizzard World’s case is any example, the upcoming Paris map, currently still in PTR, may drop into League play somewhere in the middle stages.

Each of these maps brings new challenges to the game and really pushes pros to adapt to new styles of play. Busan’s Sanctuary point in particular lends itself to absolutely chaotic play and is a flanker’s paradise, while absurdly long sightlines on Blizzard World will set us up for some truly epic sniper showdowns.

New sponsors.

While not as exciting as seeing new teams or heroes in regular play, new sponsors open up crazy possibilities for the league to expand in the future. According to an early February press release, OWL has wrangled some absolutely huge sponsorships for this second season, including Coca-Cola and Toyota, and season one sponsors T-Mobile, HP, and Intel will continue their support this year. Coca-Cola’s multiyear sponsorship is a huge deal. Big sponsors means bigger venues, bigger events, bigger coverage, and bigger paychecks (hopefully) for players, coaches, production teams, hosts, and commentators. It’s also exciting to see tier-one sponsors making serious investments in the future of eSports in general.

New kits.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, proverbial or literal, you know that several Overwatch heroes have gone through some major changes over the last year. Mercy, Torbjorn, and Symmetra have all gone through massive reworks, including brand new ultimate abilities, while characters such as Reaper, Doomfist, D.Va, and Hanzo have seen various nerfs and buffs and alterations to their standard abilities. While Torbjorn and Symmetra are still only really popular as “meme” picks and don’t feature heavily in competitive play, reworks like Mercy’s seriously alter how the game is played. Deprived of those massive four and five player resurrections, healers, tanks, and DPS heroes alike have to change their strategies on a fight-by-fight basis and think more carefully about how they prioritize the lives of individual heroes.

Mercy's old Ultimate graphic is displayed. A white cartoon-style skull surrounded by an orange triangle. The text beside it reads x5, and orange text beneath reads Teammate Down.

It’s a thing of the past.

Bottomline—it’s a new season.

While we can moan and nitpick endlessly about Doomfist getting nerfed or Torbjorn being buffed, there can be no debating that the Overwatch team has demonstrated their dedication to constantly changing and improving their game, and that dedication will certainly transfer over to the much-hyped second season of Overwatch League.

What changes are you looking forward to most, and which are you looking at with some trepidation? All I can say for sure is that I can’t wait to see some of those five tank-one Moira plays.

 

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