Jessica S. October 10, 2018
The Overwatch League announced structure details and dates important to the 2019 season.
February 14 is the date that the Overwatch League will kick off season two with the expanded roster of 20 teams. Eight new teams have joined the league and have been split into the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions. The Atlantic Division brings on Paris, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. The Pacific Division adds Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Vancouver.
The format changes are intended to make it easier for teams to prepare for games and to have have more meaningful breaks. This follows complaints from players that time off was lacking. 20 teams will play 28 matches across four stages of competition. Each stage will be five weeks long, and teams will have between zero and two games per week.
In addition to playing fewer games during the week and having bye weeks, the stages will also have longer breaks between them. The All-Star match is moving from the post-season to the break between Stage 2 and Stage 3, which will create time for teams to visit their home cities. Longer breaks between each stage final and the beginning of the following stage also gives teams more time away from the California studio.
The final changes concern the playoffs. The inaugural season saw six teams make the playoffs based on their overall standing, regardless of division. The idea will be the same for 2019, but two more teams will join the playoffs. The 7th through 12th-placed teams will fight for two final spots in the playoffs, and this competition will replace the Stage 4 final.
More details and branding announcements for new teams are still to be released through official Overwatch League channels.