Overwatch League reveals new dates, structures, and more for 2021
Overwatch League Vice President Jon Spector released new news about the 2021 OWL season, including a new structure, viewing upgrades, start dates, and possible in-person events.
In previous seasons, the Overwatch League has typically announced a January or February start. But this year, fans won't see their first matches until April. Up until now, only an "early spring" start date was announced.
Spector said that starting later in the year gave them more time to allow planning for possible in-person events later in the year. In 2020, there were very few in-person events that fans could attend, and Spector hopes to be able to host them once again in 2021.
How will OWL 2021 be structured?
The 2021 season will mirror a lot of what fans saw in late 2020 with tournaments. OWL has lamented that fans have enjoyed the tournament experience far more than stages, so they will be continuing with a tournament structure for the 2021 season.
There will be four standalone tournaments that the season will center around, but there will still be some regular-season matches that will act as qualifiers for the tournaments. This is a change from 2020, where all teams were able to compete in the tournaments.
Another big change is that teams from both divisions will be able to compete in one tournament bracket. This is due to a new latency system that reduces ping across long distances. This gives fans a chance to see the best of the best compete against each other before the playoffs.
What changes have been made to divisions in OWL?
Divisions have been overhauled and will consist of only two divisions, East and West. The distribution of teams in each division is listed as follows:
- Shanghai Dragons
- Chengdu Hunters
- Seoul Dynasty
- Hangzhou Spark
- Guangzhou Charge
- New York Excelsior
- Philadelphia Fusion
- Los Angeles Valiant
- Atlanta Reign
- Boston Uprising
- Dallas Fuel
- Florida Mayhem
- London Spitfire
- Houston Outlaws
- Los Angeles Gladiators
- Washington Justice
How to watch OWL in 2021
The OWL is planning many new viewership upgrades for the 2021 season, but will still be hosted on YouTube Gaming's platform. Spector didn't promise much in his announcement, but he said fans should be excited for the coming changes. One such change is a "spoiler-free" viewing mode. For fans who can't make the live matches, game results will no longer be revealed by preview images.
More information on the 2021 OWL season will be announced at BlizzConline, which will also see host to the "Shock vs. The World" event where the San Francisco shock will defend their two-time championship against a team of all-star players.
Overwatch League 2021 dates, where to watch, and more
Overwatch League announces 2020 postseason and playoff plans
Overwatch League sees drastic schedule changes for online matches
LEC changes playoff format and championship points in 2020
Overwatch League reveals home game structure for 2020 season
These three players might replace TenZ at Cloud9 Blue
Ex-Gambit, Unicorns of Love star Edward becomes coach of Furia
cs_summit 7 teams includes new MIBR lineup, post-flusha Fnatic
Counter-Strike legend GeT_RiGhT leaves game to stream full-time
Fogged, BSJ denied entry to Europe to cast 2021 DPC leagues
Perkz debuts on Cloud9 with loss to Evil Geniuses in LCS Lock In
Valve just disqualified self-reporting players from NA DPC League
TSM's new roster disappoints in its 2021 LCS Lock In debut
The LCS co-streaming program is back for the 2021 season
DWG overcomes Gamayusi pentakill, beats T1 in LCK 2021 opener
Here’s how bots can help you practice strats in CSGO
N0tail shows off $2 million 17-bedroom mansion in BBC interview
Blizzard brings big new features with Battle.net 2.0 update
Here's how Fortnite Crew members can receive their free emote