Your Guide to the Overwatch League – Part 1: Tournament Overview
Overwatch might be one of the newer games to appear on the scene, but it’s already made waves in a short amount of time. This has been primarily in the form of the Overwatch League, aka OWL, a tournament to celebrate the best players the world has to offer. As this is still a professional league in its infancy, little is known about the full ins and outs of the competition. To help direct fans and casual players in the right direction, we’ve created an overview of the upcoming tournament.
Despite not being the most talked about part of OWL, the Preseason is where teams get a feel for their standings within the league. All 12 of the squads will still go through to Stage 1, but the impact of Preseason will ultimately still be felt, with some teams feeling in a stronger position than others. Seeing as how this will be the first year of OWL, the Preseason is going to start at the end of the year, on December 6th. It will then continue for two more days, finally coming to an end on December 9th.
Once the Preseason is over, spectators will have to wait a short while until January 10th when Stage 1 begins. This part of the competition is split into several weeks of gaming, with the last Saturday of every stage scheduled for the Title Match. What this means is that the top teams of each stage will battle it out for bonuses, and a substantial prize pool. The amount up for grabs is an eye watering $125,000, a figure that is awarded at the end of each of the four stages.
Although there are winners at the end of the rounds, the overall champion of OWL won’t be chosen until the Grand Finals. Therefore, it’s best to think of Stage 1-4 as a way to bolster the teams’ ratings, with the results ultimately impacting on their rankings postseason.
Playoffs and Grand Finals
The tail end of the tournament will take place from June 17th onwards, with the top ranking teams from the OWL divisions playing against one another for the glory of League winner. Due to how far away the Grand Finals are, it’s difficult at this time to speculate who might triumph. However, while we can’t guess at the top members just yet, we can take a sneak peek at the prize, which stands at $1 million. Not forgetting the all important bragging rights, and the Overwatch trophy the victors will be taking home.
Even though the main events will be done and dusted, and one of the 12 squads will have made Overwatch history, the fun and games will still continue. Early August will see the teams come back for more, partaking in various challenges and festivities. Regardless of whether you see this as a token add on event or not, it helps to keep the spirit of OWL alive that bit longer, before we have to wait for the next season to begin.