New stage, new features: Overwatch League renovating replay system for pro play
In a recent announcement on the official Overwatch League website, Blizzard Entertainment have pulled out all the stops with the return of OWL this stage as they expect to improve the replay functions for all Overwatch League games with their patented Professional Viewer later this season. A new stage also means a new map pool for all 20 Overwatch League teams and the difference in scenery may just mean the difference in playoff position depending on the roster. Now that the itinerary has been laid out for what Blizzard expects to be a blistering return of Overwatch League action after the all-star break, it’s time to take a look at how these changes will affect the league.
Twelve new maps, enter Havana
The map pool for Stage Three will keep in line with tradition and feature the latest map to be released on the live servers this year. Havana was first introduced in the Storm Rising Overwatch event. The map is a colorful homage to the historic city it replicates. This classic feeling escort map has plenty of choke points and abrupt cutaways to make the line of scrimmage action enticing to watch as teams look to attack and defend the payload.
The complete map pool for Stage Three is as follows:
- Control: Ilios, Oasis, Nepal
- Assault: Paris, Volskaya Industries, Horizon: Lunar Colony
- Hybrid: Hollywood, Eichenwalde, Numbani
- Escort: Havana, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Dorado
Match of the Week – League Replays
Also new this Stage, the Overwatch League will now be showcasing their most must-watch match of the weekend as the first match to take place each Sunday as part of a fixed-schedule Match of the Week. The first Match of the Week involves a high-stakes matchup of two Korean powerhouses as New York Excelsior and London Spitfire do battle in our first featured matchup.
London Spitfire have steadily creeped their way into a top four standing within the league table, but they have yet to command the same respect as last season with their waning dominance in the new meta. Profit and co. will look to turn that narrative around with a big win against New York this weekend.
Here we have the full list of all Stage Three Matches of the Week, starting with NYXL and London on June 9:
- Week 1: Excelsior vs. Spitfire—Sunday, June 9, noon PDT
- Week 2: Dynasty vs. Shock—Sunday, June 16, noon PDT
- Week 3: Fuel vs. Hunters—Sunday, June 23, noon PDT
- Week 4: Titans vs. Gladiators—Sunday, June 30, noon PDT
- Week 5: Mayhem vs. Reign (Atlanta Homestand)— Sunday, July 7, 12:30 PDT
Finally, later this season at a date still to be determined, Blizzard Officials have promised an even more immersive replay system to truly take in all the action within the Overwatch League with their Professional Viewer slated to be released. The The Professional Viewer feature will be available on PC using a special client that you can download in the Battle.net app. Overwatch League matches will be available in the viewer the Monday after each week concludes in the Americas and on Tuesday everywhere else. Make sure to download the client as soon as its available to take in the professional masterclasses from all angles later this season.