Overwatch league reveals changes to Season 2 Format and Schedule

Blizzard has revealed details of Season 2 of the Overwatch League. The new season will see changes to its format, the number of participants and the schedule of the matches. The new season of Overwatch League will have twenty teams spread out across the world, increasing from the previous 12 teams in season 1.

Changes to Format

The Overwatch League will see numerous changes to its format and will be visible in the format of the Stage Finals, as well as for the Playoffs. The increase in the number of teams competing is reflected in a similar increase in the number of available playoff spots. At the same time, there will be Three stage finals in Season 2 which is expanding to become a seeded Playoff bracket.

The Stage Finals

With the increase in the number of teams competing, we will see changes to the Stage Finals format to accommodate. Stage Finals are end-of-stage title matches that provide teams with an opportunity to win cash prizes. In addition to this, there are also bragging rights amongst the teams themselves, proving that they are the superior Overwatch roster.

The Stage Finals will have a total of eight teams in participation. This includes the two divisional toppers (Atlantic Division & Pacific Division), joined by the next six teams based on points from the previous playoff stages. This ensures that the best teams are selected from the entirety of the League. The two divisional toppers will be seeded as #1 and #2.

The Playoffs Play-in Stage

The Season 1 Playoffs saw 2 Divisional toppers, as well as the next four teams in the table, qualify for the Playoffs. This year, the additional two teams will be selected based on a Play-in Tournament to be held after Stage 4.

The Play-in Tournament will see teams ranked 7th through 12th placed against each other for the final two slots. This will allow teams that just missed out on the Playoffs to still have a chance to qualify for the same. This is similar to how loser’s brackets often work in other esports tournaments.


Changes to Scheduling

There will be a number of changes to the Overwatch League Schedule for Season 2. The new season will have a lot fewer matches and also longer breaks to allow rest for the players. This will likely improve player mentality and with the increased number of teams competing there won’t be a reduced number of games aired across the board.

Lower Number of matches

The first season of Overwatch League had one similar complaint from the talent as well as players; The number of matches per team was just too high. In the regular season, lasting approximately 3 months, a team had to play 40 matches, excluding Stage Finals and the Season Playoffs. This equated to a team regularly having to play competitively over four days a week and having only three days for rest and practice. Every match held a lot of importance when it came to the team’s performance and standings, meaning OWL teams would generally spend their ‘rest days’ practising or ‘scrimming’ against other top teams.

Taking feedback from the professional scene, Overwatch league has reduced the number of matches to just 28 throughout Season 2. A team will play only 7 matches per stage and these matches will see a more flexible distribution. Unlike Season 1, where every team had two matches per week, this season will see the matches spread out for a team. In this upcoming season a team will now have just 1, 2, or even zero matches per week which will allow players to visit home or just take a break. Players’ homesickness was a key aspect of the fatigue that many players witnessed in Season 1. The majority of Overwatch league players are from South Korea, and their prolonged absence from home is bound to affect their in-game performance.

All-Star Match: A much-needed vacation

In addition to the changes in the regular season schedule, Overwatch League has also decided to move up the All-star match. Season 1 saw the All-star match held in post conclusion of the Season, but this year the All-star match will be a valid excuse to allow players some free time and a chance to rejuvenate themselves.

The All-star match will be held in between Stages 2 and 3. This will allow players to get some much-needed rest and probably even visit their home country if they are not a part of the All-star roster.

Overwatch League Season Two Rosters & Divisions

The two Divisions in the Overwatch League are:

  1. Atlantic Division
  2. Pacific Division

The teams included in each division are as follows :

Atlantic Division

  • Atlanta
  • Paris
  • Toronto
  • Washington D.C.
  • Boston Uprising
  • Florida Mayhem
  • Houston Outlaws
  • London Spitfire
  • New York Excelsior
  • Philadelphia Fusion

Pacific Division

  • Chengdu
  • Guangzhou
  • Hangzhou
  • Vancouver
  • Los Angeles Gladiators
  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • San Francisco Shock
  • Seoul Dynasty
  • Shanghai Dragons