The Overwatch League 2019 is soon to begin! Overwatch players from around the world who follow the world of Esports have been waiting for this moment the whole year. This is the beginning and culmination of the Overwatch competitive scene, but it’s by no means the only Overwatch tournament in existence. However, most Overwatch players will tell you that the Overwatch League is the most exciting as it lasts throughout the year. There’s plenty to fight for in the new Overwatch League 2019 which isn’t surprising considering the increase in prize pool money. Twenty teams are participating in this tournament which means plenty of action for Esports fans everywhere!
If this is your first time following an Overwatch tournament, you’re in for a treat! Overwatch is generally a very fast-paced game with loads of explosive action. Overwatch League 2019 is sure to bring it all to the next level as Overwatch is expanding ever more.
Now, info about the tournament itself:
Overwatch League 2019 Tournament Facts
- Dates: The regular part of the Overwatch League 2019 starts on February 14th. The tournament will last all the way until late August. After that, the postseason (playoffs) will be conducted as well as the all-star event. Unfortunately, the dates for these are yet to be known but there’s so much time left that you’ve nothing to worry about!
- Teams: As mentioned before, there will be 20 participating teams. Teams are divided into two main divisions – Atlantic Division and Pacific Division. Each division consists of 10 teams and boy, does it look spicy this year. Some of the more popular ones include New York Excelsior, London Spitfire, Vancouver Titans, Philadelphia Fusion, etc. Last year’s overall season winners were New York Excelsior, but London Spitfire took the playoffs win. This year is bound to see some clutch games.
- Prize Pool: The prize pool for this year’s Overwatch League has been increased to $5,000,000 compared to last year’s $3,500,000. However, this didn’t just happen because the organizers want teams to win more prize money; it was more related to the increase in team numbers. Yup, Overwatch League 2019 has 8 teams more than last year’s iteration! Great progression and growth from the Overwatch competitive scene.
- Format: So the format is a bit convoluted but you’ll understand everything soon enough. Stage 1 starts, as said before, on February 14th and ends on March 17th. Stage 2 is from April 4th to May 5th. The next stage, Stage 3, begins on June 6th and finishes on July 7th and the final stage, Stage 4, starts on July 25th and lasts until August 25th. Each month is filled with action (apart from slight breaks between stages). These 4 stages are part of the Overwatch League 2019 Regular Season. During this part of the season, all matches are to be played in front of a live audience in the Blizzard Arena. All of the 20 teams will participate in 28 matches over four, 5-week stages. There will be 7 matches per stage for each team. An important note about the Regular Season is that all wins and loses count towards each team’s full-season record.
Once stage 4 finishes, the Postseason begins. The top team from each division as well as the next 4 teams in the combined standings (no matter which division) advance to the playoffs. Teams 7th to 12th (in total standings) also have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. They will participate in a sudden death tournament which will determine the final 2 teams to qualify for the playoffs (bringing the total number to 8).
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning the All-Star Weekend that will happen during the break between stages 2 and 3.
As far as expectations go, you can expect New York Excelsior and London Spitfire to duke it out for first place. Whether speaking about the playoffs or the regular part of the season, these two teams seem to be on top of their game and generally have the highest chances of success. But, who knows? Maybe Philadelphia Fusion can cause an upset considering how well they played last year. San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans may also have a chance at glory but only time will tell.
And it’s going to take a lot of time to reach the end of the Overwatch League 2019!