Overwatch League 2023 Grand Finals to take place in Toronto

Overwatch League 2023 Toronto
Image credit: Overwatch League

The Playoffs and Grand Finals of the 2023 Overwatch League (OWL) season will take place on LAN in Toronto, Canada from September 28th to October 1st.

Overwatch League revealed in a blog post that four semifinalists will compete for a coveted finals spot at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, with the eventual 2023 champions taking home $1m (~£763,000 ) in prize money and the championship trophy. The runner-up will earn $400,000 (~£305,000.)

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Tickets will go on sale starting July 21st, 2023, at 9 am PT with a Preferred Ticket Presale.

The League dramatically changed its format for the 2023 season. The season so far has seen a Spring and Summer stage, both offering opportunities for non-franchised teams to compete against franchised counterparts for the first time. Historically, the finals have taken place in North America with this season being no different.

The event will technically be hosted by OWL franchisee the Toronto Defiant. The team joined OWL in 2019 as part of its second-year expansion, alongside six other franchised teams.

The Defiant is owned by esports conglomerate Overactive Media, which also owns the European organisation Mad Lions. The company has operations in Toronto, Madrid and Berlin and is publicly traded on the Canadian TSXV exchange.

Toronto Defiant reached an agreement last month with the OWL which led to the team eliminating outstanding fees it paid to enter the league. At the time, Overactive Media valued the deal at CAD$ 10.8m (~£6.5m).

The new partnership with the Overwatch League is based on three separate smaller deals. It sees OverActive media receive an early payment of league revenue share, a sponsorship agreement with the Toronto Ultra, and the elimination of entry fees.

The Grand Finals announcement comes amid a rocky time for the OWL. The Jacob Wolf report alleged in January that Overwatch League teams had opened legal proceedings against the tournament operator due to missed promises on viewership and sponsor revenue.

Patrick Walker
Patrick is a freelance writer for ESI based in London, reporting on esports marketing and partnerships trends. He's currently playing VALORANT and Overwatch but always looking for the next big thing in competitive gaming.