August 4, 2021

E-sports

Game CMD 368

Overwatch League reveals new dates and more for 2021

Overwatch League

New news about the 2021 OWL season was released by Overwatch League Vice President Jon Spector, including a new structure, upgrades, start dates, and possible in-person events.

Overwatch League

In previous seasons, the Overwatch League typically announced the beginning of January or February. But fans won’t see their first matches until April this year. Until now, only the “early spring” start date has been announced.

Spector said it gave them more time to schedule possible in-person events later in the year, starting later in the year. There were very few in-person events in 2020 that fans could attend, and in 2021, Spector hopes to be able to host them again.

How will OWL 2021 be structured? – Overwatch League

The OWL 2021 season will reflect a lot of what fans have seen with tournaments in late 2020. The league lamented that fans have enjoyed the experience of the tournament far more than stages, so for the 2021 season they will continue with a tournament structure.

The season will be centered around four standalone tournaments, but there will still be some regular-season matches that will act as tournament qualifiers. This is a shift from 2020, where all teams have been able to compete in the competitions.

Another big change is that it will be possible for teams from both divisions to compete in one tournament bracket. This is due to a new system of latency that reduces ping over long distances. This gives fans a chance before the playoffs to see the best of the best compete against each other.

What changes have been made to the divisions in OWL?

Divisions have been revised and only two divisions, East and West, will be included. The distribution of teams is listed as follows in each division:

East

Guangzhou Charge / Shanghai Dragons / Chengdu Hunters / Seoul Dynasty

Hangzhou Spark /  New York Excelsior / Philadelphia Fusion / 

Los Angeles Valiant

West

Atlanta Reign / Boston Uprising / Dallas Fuel

Florida Mayhem / London Spitfire / Houston Outlaws

Los Angeles Gladiators / Washington Justice

The OWL plans many new viewership upgrades for the 2021 season, but it will still be hosted on the platform of YouTube Gaming. In his announcement, Spector did not promise much, but he said fans should be excited about the coming changes. A “spoiler-free” viewing mode is one such change. For fans who can’t make the live matches, preview images will no longer reveal game results.