The second season of the Overwatch League is set to commence on February 14th, Blizzard has announced.
With the follow-up to the successful inaugural season of the Overwatch competition comes a host of changes. The most significant of which – but that was already known – is that 20 teams will now be competing for the title of Overwatch League champions.
One of the major alterations made for the upcoming season is the amount of games each team is required to play. The first season saw 40 matches played per squad, though that has now been changed to 28 going forward. This gives franchises more time to focus on building fans and producing content outside of competition-focussed pieces. These matches will take place over four five-week stages.
Jon Spector, Director of Franchises and Competition at Overwatch League discussed the thought process behind the change with Dot Esports: “One thing we heard from players is that a week off is great, but you’re competing for what to do with that time. [Do you] rest and catch up on sleep? Practice for the next stage and learn the new hero? Or go back to your home city and spend time with fans?”
The inevitable All-Star match that previously took place post-season has been moved to the middle of the regular season to give players a longer break.
The new franchises have been divided into two existing divisions. Atlanta, Paris, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. have joined the Atlantic Division. The Pacific Division has added Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Vancouver.
Esports Insider says: The changes in the amount of matches played is a good move by the League: it allows players to have a healthier balance between practicing, playing, and actually living – hopefully we can avoid another Shanghai Dragons situation moving forward. Giving the players more time in the off-season with the All-Star event being moved is also a nice sight. Overall, it seems as if the competitors are being given more consideration and rightfully so; they are the stars of the show after all.