Overwatch League Grand Finals Head to Los Angeles
The 2021 Overwatch League (OWL) Grand Finals will be held at the Galen Center in Los Angeles in September, as announced by the tournament organizers on Tuesday, July 20. Before the final event, the 2021 OWL will head to Esports Stadium Arlington in Dallas for the Playoffs.
The OWL Grand Finals Return to LAN
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of problems for the esports scene across all titles. However, with the global health situations improving, the organizers have started to look to return the competition back to arenas.
League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2 have all started making plans to host their tournaments in offline settings. And the Overwatch League didn’t need long to follow suit.
Over the last few months, the OWL slowly started to introduce some normalcy by hosting live events. There were a couple successfully hosted OWL Home Series in China, while Dallas Fuel hosted the first North American LAN event in March.
Following the success the live events have had, the OWL organizers decided to explore options to bring the season-culminating event back in front of the live audience and have found a way to do just that. As announced this Tuesday, the 2021 OWL Playoffs and Grand Finals will return to LAN.
In addition to announcing two live events, OWL organizers also unveiled a new postseason format.
OWL 2021 Playoffs Format
Out of all OWL teams, only the top three teams from the West Region and the top two from the East Region will receive a direct bye into the 2021 OWL Playoffs. The teams will earn their spot based on league points earned throughout the season.
The teams earned OWL points based on the number of wins, their placements in qualifiers, and performances in the tournaments. So far, only two teams are already guaranteed their spot in the playoffs.
Dallas Empire are the only western team to have secured enough points for a direct invite for the playoffs. They’ve managed a 9-3 record on the season but collected 15 OWL points, which sits them six points above San Francisco Shock and Houston Outlaws.
On the other side of the Pacific, Shanghai Dragons dominated the Eastern Region. The Chinese OWL team are 10-2 on the season with 18 OWL Points.
That sits them nine points above Seoul Dynasty and Chengdu Hunters, who are tied in second with nine points each.
With Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons already qualified, there are only five more tickets left for grabs. The Western Region has two, while there is only one ticket on the table for the Eastern Region teams.
Eight Teams To Enter The OWL Playoffs
Those esports teams who will not manage to qualify for the OWL playoffs directly will have another shot at securing a spot for the season-culminating event in the OWL Play-In stage.
The OWL Play-In stage will see the fourth through ninth seeds in the West and third through fifth seeds in the East battle for the remaining spots. There will be two tickets available for the Western Region and only one for the Eastern Region.
After the Play-In stage concludes, eight teams – three from Eastern Region and five from Western Region will advance in the postseason bracket.
The Overwatch League Playoffs will kick off on Thursday, September 16, and feature a double-elimination bracket. The teams will get seeded based on their overall League Points earned and placement within their region.
If teams are tied, a sequence of tiebreakers will apply. Higher seeds will enjoy advantages through the postseason, with byes, choice of opponents for the first round of the playoffs, and opening map selection.
The top two teams will battle it out in the 2021 OWL Grand Finals, scheduled for Saturday, September 25. The 2021 OWL Champions will secure $1,500,000 in tournament winnings, while the runners-up will receive a $750,000 consolation prize.
Before the season concludes, the teams still need to compete in the OWL Countdown Cup. The qualifiers for the final regular-season event of the season will kick off on Friday, July 30, and conclude on Saturday, August 14.
The OWL Countdown Cup will kick off on Sunday, August 15, and culminate with the grand finals on Sunday, August 22.