Overwatch League 2019: 5 Crucial Changes
Posted 27th October 2018 By: Derpina    192 Views
Esports News – The Overwatch League is almost ready for the 2019 season. The tournament will officially come back to life at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles on Thursday, February 14 with new changes and improvements.
Division of old and expansion teams
The new Overwatch teams will join the expansion teams next season. The division for all regions is as follows:
For the Atlantic Division: Atlanta, Paris, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. (alongside the Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, and Philadelphia Fusion).
For the Pacific Division: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Vancouver (alongside the Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons).
Flex time and change in schedule
It was already announced before that the 2019 Overwatch League format will have fewer matches to give the teams an opportunity to take a break and visit their home cities during the season. Blizzard has released the official number of gameplays and breaks. The OWL 2019 will see all 20 teams play 28 matches over four five-week stages, for a total of seven matches per stage. This is a more flexible schedule that will allow teams to only play one or two matches a week, or none at all.
Stage finals and seedings
The Stage Finals format will return in the 2019 season after Stages 1, 2, and 3. The top eight teams who will dominate the rankings from each stage will complete the Stage Finals. This will then be expanded to become a seeded playoff bracket. Divisional winners will be seeded into #1 and #2 slots depending on the stage record. Afterward, the next six teams in the standings will follow.
All-Star summer vacation
The schedule for the All-Star break will also see some changes. It will not feature pro sports leagues this season but will move to the middle of the Overwatch League regular season instead. To be more specific, the All-Star will culminate between Stages 2 and 3.
The post-season or the playoffs is altered in terms of team divisions. In the inaugural season, the divisional champions and the next four teams in the standings, regardless of division, will qualify for the tournament. In season 2, two additional teams will also make the playoffs based on the results of a play-in tournament following Stage 4. Overall, this sees the 7th to 12th place teams in the overall standings against one another.