Overwatch League returns this weekend, reveals match schedule
Steven R. March 16, 2020
Many people are stuck at home during the ongoing coronavirus crisis and are looking for some entertainment, and the Overwatch League is finally returning to help fill that void.
The league announced that it was looking to return to action in an online setting, and the first games for this return have been announced. On the weekend of March 21, the Seoul Dynasty, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, and San Francisco Shock will play one another.
The games are scheduled as follows:
San Francisco Shock vs. Seoul Dynasty (March 21, 2 p.m. ET)
Los Angeles Valiant vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (March 21, 4 p.m. ET)
Seoul Dynasty vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (March 22, 2 p.m. ET)
Los Angeles Valiant vs. San Francisco Shock (March 22, 4 p.m. ET)
This is likely welcome news for Overwatch fans, who have seen their favorite game’s pro scene left in limbo.
Long before the NBA and NHL started canceling seasons due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Overwatch League was feeling the effects of the upcoming pandemic. Asian teams saw their training disrupted by mass travel restrictions in China, which was followed by the cancellation of all homestands in the country. Games set to take place at these homestands were rescheduled for future events in Seoul, but those events wound up cancelled as well.
This was expanded to all homestand events earlier this month.
Overwatch League moves matches online, cancels homestands
The Overwatch League plans to play catch-up on this through a series of online games. Overwatch League VP Jon Spector opened up on how this is going to play out in the latest installment of Watchpoint:
"We've been working for a while now actually, on backup and contingency plans around coronavirus and making sure that we're always putting the safety of our fans, our players, our staff and our partners first,” Spector said. “But within that context, one of the things that we started to work on a lot more over the last few weeks...is to shift to play matches online.”
He then discussed some of the issues therein, noting that the Atlantic Division is well-equipped for this due to the teams all being headquartered on the east coast of the United States. The Pacific Division faces more hurdles in this regard as teams are split between east Asia and the USA’s west coast. This will functionally result in sub-divisions through which teams can compete against one another with optimal network conditions.
As previously planned, the Overwatch League will be broadcasted live on YouTube. Expect more games to be announced in the near future.