The Overwatch League is back for a new season! Mark your calendars: the League will kick off on Friday, April 16.
The new Overwatch League season will start on April 16, 2021. Less than two months before the grand opening, Overwatch unveils its schedule, tournament information and pricing.
Tournament Format & Schedule
Overwatch League 2021 teams will be separated into two regions of competitions. The East includes the eight teams competing in China and South Korea: the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty.
The West includes the 12 teams competing in Europe and North America: the Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Paris Eternal, San Francisco Shock, Vancouver Titans, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice.
The best two teams of each region will then fight in a final tournament. The Regular Season will include four tournament cycles: May Melee, June Joust, Summer Showdown, and Countdown Cup.
Each tournament weekend gathers the best team from each region to fight and take the crown. As there are more teams in the West than in the East, they will compete one extra round to go down to the best two teams.
If the sanitary conditions allow it, the top two teams from the West will face the best teams from the East in Hawaii. If not, the tournaments will happen online.
Overwatch League Points
This new season brings a new feature in the Overwatch League: the League Points. After each match, teams are awarded League Points depending on their performance. Each win is worth one League Point, over a total of 16 qualifiers matches.
Teams that qualify for and win at tournaments can acquire additional points as follows:
- 1st place = Three League Points
- 2nd place = Two League Points
- 3rd place = One League Point
The League Points gathered throughout the Season will determine the top three teams from the West region and top two teams from the East region, which will directly qualify into the Playoffs. Three additional teams will also take part in the Playoffs but will be qualified through a classic tournament instead of League Points.
The hero pools, introduced during the Overwatch League 2020 Season, are back to live another day. This system forces players to adapt their strategies each week, as a new set of heroes becomes unavailable for a week. Since the apparition of weighted hero pools, the hero bans are no longer random, but the odds of a character being banned increase with its play-rate in the Overwatch League.
Hero pools will be used for two of the four tournaments mentioned above: the June Joust and the Countdown Cup. There will be no hero pool for the May Melee, Summer Showdown, or in the Playoffs. As there are only two tournaments affected by the hero pools, no hero can be removed more than once during the season.
The Overwatch League 2021 Season breaks a new record, with a total cash prize of US $4,250,000. Each tournament winner is awarded $100,000 and the Grand Champions will share a prize pool of $1,500,000.
Which team do you think will bring the Overwatch League trophy home this year? Stay tuned with ESTNN to discover our Overwatch League 2021 Power Rankings.