After leaving the community in the dark for almost an entire year, Blizzard has revealed the format and schedule for the upcoming Overwatch League and surprised the community with the announcement of a mobile app that has been developed specifically for the league.
During the "Inside the Overwatch League" panel at BlizzCon 2017 on Nov. 4, Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer announced that games for the OWL starting Jan. 10 will be played four days each week from Wednesday to Saturday. This schedule was crafted with an international audience in mind in order to maximize fan engagement and viewership.
With twelve teams in the inaugural season, Blizzard has created two divisions based on a franchising city affiliation so that they could take into account the different timezones of the respective fanbases.
The Atlantic Division:
- Boston Uprising
- Florida Mayhem
- Houston Outlaws
- London Spitfire
- New York Excelsior
- Philadelphia Fusion
The Pacific Division:
- Dallas Fuel
- Los Angeles Gladiators
- Los Angeles Valiant
- San Francisco Shock
- Seoul Dynasty
- Shanghai Dragons
Throughout the season, teams will be looking to compete for playoff spots based on their win-loss record across the 40 games each will play during the regular season, 20 within their division and 20 cross-regional. Seasonal play will be divided into four stages, each being five weeks in length punctuated by breaks. Each week will feature three matches consisting of four map sets with a limited pool of 8 select maps per stage.
- Stage 1: January 10—February 10
- Stage 2: February 21—March 24
- Stage 3: April 4—May 5
- Stage 4: May 16—June 16
Fans will be able to keep up with the action on an Overwatch League mobile application that is currently in development.
Lastly, Blizzard revealed the prize pool breakdown and bonuses that teams can earn based on their performance throughout a season:
Stage title match bonuses
- First place: $100,000
- Second place: $25,000
Regular season placement bonuses
- First place: $300,000
- Second place: $200,000
- Third and fourth place: $150,000
- Fifth and sixth place: $100,000
- Seventh and eighth place: $75,000
- Ninth and 10th place: $50,000
- 11th and 12th place: $25,000
Championship playoffs placement bonuses
- World Champion: $1 million
- Runner-up: $400,000
- Third and fourth place: $100,000
- Fifth and sixth place: $50,000
- Total: $1.7 million
More information can be found on the official Overwatch League website.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment