Overwatch League announces 2020 postseason and playoff plans

Olivia R. July 15, 2020

All 20 Overwatch League teams will have a chance to play in the Grand Final bracket, set to take place online in South Korea in the fall. 

The Overwatch League revealed their postseason plans in a YouTube video. With help from some OWL broadcast talent, the league outlined how it will get to the Grand Finals.

Postseason play begins on September 3. The postseason brackets will be split between North America and Asia, with 13 teams in North America and seven in Asia. The brackets will be set up similarly to the May Melee and Summer Showdown tournaments, with single-elimination brackets for the lower-tiered teams. 

On September 5, the teams that made it out of the play-in brackets will compete in a double-elimination tournament. The teams that come out on top of this round will compete in a double-elimination bracket the following week with the goal of crowning the top two teams in each region, one from the winners bracket and one from the losers bracket. 

The five top-seeded teams in both regions will have an automatic bye into the double-elimination tournaments. This will be determined by the team's performance during the regular season, with bonus points awarded for placement in monthly tournaments. The remaining teams will be fighting for the bracket's finla three spots. 

“We wanted every team to have a path to the Grand Finals, even if it’s pretty grueling,” Aditya Rudra, lead strategy manager for the Overwatch League, said. 

The four top teams will compete in South Korea for the Grand Finals of the tournament, either in late September or early October. 

Grand Finals OWL

Overwatch League sets Grand Finals safety guidelines for players

According to OWL's senior manager of competition operations, Adam Mierzejewski, the four teams competing in the Grand Finals will not be competing in a LAN tournament. Instead, they'll be playing on nearby online servers to reduce latency issues and ensure that the competition is played out in a fair environment. 

"Safety of players and staff is obviously our top priority," Mierzejewski explained.

To keep the teams healthy, there will be a multi-week break between the first postseason brackets and the Grand Finals tournament. Teams from North America will be quarantined for at least 14 days after arriving in South Korea. Meanwhile, teams from the Asia region will remain in their own facilities for the remainder of the competition. 

Mierzejewski explained that the OWL has to "plan for everything and include flexibility" when it comes to scheduling and how things will be run, given the changes to the league's schedule and format. 

The final monthly tournament of 2020, called the Countdown Cup, will start July 17. The Paris Eternal and the Vancouver Titans will start off the action at 4 PM PST.