As we have anticipated in the Overwatch pro level scene, there will be some significant changes taking place for the second season of the Overwatch League. This is moreso now with the addition of eight new teams, alongside the fact that all teams will be based out of their home cities.
The league recently released a plethora of information which we will get you up to speed with.
With eight new teams joining the league this season, they all have been divided between the league’s two divisions (new teams in bold):
- The Atlantic Division Atlanta
- Washington, D.C.
- Boston Uprising
- Florida Mayhem
- Houston Outlaws
- London Spitfire
- New York Excelsior
- Philadelphia Fusion
- The Pacific DivisionChengdu
- Dallas Fuel
- Los Angeles Gladiators
- Los Angeles Valiant
- San Francisco Shock
- Seoul Dynasty
- Shanghai Dragons
The new matchmaking format will see all 20 teams play 28 matches over four five-week stages, for a total of seven matches per stage. Overwatch League added “To help players stay at the top of their game, as well as give teams more opportunities to visit their home cities during the season, a more flexible schedule will see teams playing zero, one, or two matches a week, creating more breaks for players.”
Now you must be wondering how do they fit the 28 matches when there are only 20 teams in the league?
For comparison’s sake, a 20-team English Premier League sees all teams play 38 matches a season – 19 games, home and away which tallies up to 38.
We expect this format to be adhered by the Overwatch League:
Same division matchups: Vs 9 teams x 2 (home and away) = 18 matches
Different division matchups: Vs 10 teams; 5×2 (home and away) = 10 matches
Total matches played: 18+10 : 28 matches spread over four stages (7 per stage)
At the end of each stage, the top 8 teams will compete in a playoff style tournament. According to stage record, divisional winners will be seeded into the #1 and #2 slots, followed by the next six teams in the standings.
Taking a leaf out of the NBA playbook, the All-Star break will take place between Stages 2 and 3 which will have a longer break between them. This step ensures that the players remain fresh and will still be in the competitive mood.
A Second Shot at Grand Final Playoffs
In Season 1, the top teams of each division makes it to the playoffs, followed by the next four teams regardless of division based on the overall league standings. The rest go home. But not in Season 2.
The league is introducing a new ‘Play-In’ format where teams that finish between seventh and twelfth will compete for two more spots in the Grand Finals playoffs. A second shot at glory, if you will.
Expect more news to come in the following months as all teams are now eligible to sign new players, alongside official team announcements for all eight new team additions to the Overwatch League.
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