Overwatch League Community Update #3

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Overwatch League Community Update #3

A new OWL update brings confirmation that the Eastern Division has been delayed until May 20th.

With the start of the league only two weeks away, some good and bad news comes from the league.

Eastern Region Delay

It's been proven again that a fully unified league is still not here. The very uneven divisional split means seven teams will not participate in Weeks 1 and 2 of Stage 1. Instead, the seven Eastern Division teams will play all of their qualifying matches in just the final two weeks of the Stage. Many fans would like to see the league go back to a ten to ten divisional split. Similar to the 2018 and 2019 Seasons, teams would cross divisional lines to play each other even in the regular season.

Because of the Chinese government locking down sections of cities in an attempt to eradicate COVID within them, multiple Chinese teams would be at risk of not being able to perform. The Chinese teams, of course, make up over half of the division. Hopefully, the timing of this event bodes well for the future. If this is one of the final major COVID setbacks for esports, 2023 could bring back the even divisional split.

Live Events

More live events have been listed, but their timing isn't as expected. Opening weekend's “Battle for Texas” will feature the Dallas Fuel being hosted by the Houston Outlaws for their first match of 2022. Old news, right? Well, two more events have been scheduled for Stage Championship tournaments in the third Community Update. We now know that the Kickoff Clash will be hosted live in Dallas, Texas. With the Summer Showdown hosted live in Toronto, Ontario. Just as many other companies have, it seems Overwatch is making Texas their new Los Angeles. This will be Toronto's first live Overwatch League event, which is an exciting look forward. It will come after OverActive Media's hosting of the Call of Duty Stage 3 Major.

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The Overwatch League team seems to have not made a final decision on further live events. They have, however, made it clear that the goal is still to return to more frequent live events if possible this season.

Update Wrap-Up

Despite changes in the global climate, the league still pushes on. They have compacted the Eastern schedule to still comply with Stage qualifications, and are continuing with live event planning. Though there have been bumps in the road, the league has made sure smooth them out where possible. These changes don't spell much difference in the overall landscape of the season.