The show must go on.
Only last week, Blizzard cancelled homestand events for March and April 2020, but the company is now releasing a revised schedule for both months of online matches, all of which will be streamed live and on-demand on their official YouTube channel.
According to Blizzard, the schedule was constructed to eliminate the need for travel while maintaining a level playing field for the teams, so all matches are taking place based in the regions where teams are currently residing. All teams will compete in three regions to minimize latency issues for online competition.
For example, all four teams playing in this weekend’s matches; the Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, and Seoul Dynasty are all located on the West Coast of the US. The Vancouver Titans and Dallas Fuel will play against the other four West Coast teams above.
Meanwhile, the four teams in China; the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Shanghai Dragons will play against each other.
The Atlantic Conference teams; Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion, New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice will compete with all of them located in the US on the East Coast and in Texas.
Each team will play the number of matches necessary to catch them up to the total amount of matches they had previously been scheduled to play through the midseason point of the original schedule.
What this means is that Pacific Conference teams will generally play more frequently than teams in the Atlantic Conference, as the schedule was designed to maximize fairness between teams, factoring in the total amount of matches played each week.
Some teams will play more than two matches against other teams while other teams won’t play against each other. The league is currently evaluating changes to the structure of the 2020 playoffs, including format and qualification, to account for this change.
However, Blizzard clarified that the Overwatch League plans to return to team-hosted homestand competitions in front of live audiences as soon as it is safe and logistically possible.
All March and April 2020 matches will be played using the updated Hero Pool selection process and will use the following map set:
You can check out the new full schedule for the online Overwatch League matches here.