The Overwatch League is set to return this Valentines day — February 14th — with a new look to complement its new teams. Today, Blizzard announced the schedule and changes via the Overwatch League website. At its core, the changes are largely focused around alleviating a long schedule and promoting more opportunities for fandom.
The #OWL2019 season is just around the corner!
Find out when we return, the season structure, & more.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) October 10, 2018
Firstly, the Overwatch League’s eight new teams will join the respective divisions.
Atlantic: Atlanta, Paris, Toronto, Washington D.C.
Pacific: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Vancouver
Secondly, the regular season will still consist of four five-week stages, but with a slightly different spread. 20 teams will play 28 games over the four stage period, with each team playing seven per stage. The change is described as giving “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.”
Stage finals will also expand to become a fully-seeded playoff bracket to feature eight teams for Stages 1, 2, and 3. Divisional winners will also be seeded into the overall playoffs based on Stage record.
Additionally, the Overwatch League playoffs will still consistent of two division champions, as well as the 3rd-6th place teams in terms of record. However, two teams will join the fray after a Play-In bracket that features the 7th-12th place teams.
The All-Star event will also move toward becoming an All-Star break in between Stages 2 and 3 to provide further relief to players and fans.
Photo: (Robert Paul, Blizzard Entertainment)