2021 Overwatch League Viewers’ Guide

Overwatch League 2021 Viewers Guide

Hello everyone, WyomingMyst here. Overwatch League starts tomorrow, and there is a lot of things that have changed from how the tournament is structured all the way down to what rewards viewers can get. So, let’s not waste any time, and let’s get right into it. The 2020 Overwatch League season was primed to bring the original full potential of homestand events throughout the world. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the League underwent multiple changes that could better serve the organizations in the Asia Pacific region and North America. With the future uncertain in many parts of the world, online play will continue throughout most of the matches in a more structured season this year.

Teams & Regions

Again this year, matches will be split among the two regions, West and East. Some teams, however, are moving between regions. The Los Angeles Valiant and the London Spitfire have signed up entirely new rosters. The fourth-place finishing team, the Philadelphia Fusion, has moved their roster to the East region to also face off against the other Korea and China teams. Eight teams will now compete in the East region, whereas twelve will play in the West.

Monthly Tournament

The season will have a similar but more simplified structure to the online format adapted in the later part of the 2020 season. Each tournament cycle will have four qualifying matches for each team following a preset schedule. The top 6 teams in the West region and the top 4 in the East Region will advance to the tournament single-elimination knockout rounds. After which, the two West region teams will travel to Hawaii to play against the East region teams via a direct routed connection in a 4-team double-elimination tournament competing for up to $100,000 in cash prizes.

 

*Subject to change due to travel and safety considerations

Season Standings

The season will have a similar but more simplified structure to the online format adapted in the later part of the 2020 season. Each tournament cycle will have four qualifying matches for each team following a preset schedule. The top 6 teams in the West region and the top 4 in the East Region will advance to the tournament single-elimination knockout rounds. After which, the two West region teams will travel to Hawaii to play against the East region teams via a direct routed connection in a 4-team double-elimination tournament competing for up to $100,000 in cash prizes.

Hero Pools

Hero Pools will be used in two of the four monthly tournaments, the June Joust, and the Countdown Cup. Whereas the May Melee and the Summer Showdown will not use any hero pools. Heroes will be randomly selected based on play rates from the previous tournament cycle. Only heroes that are being played 10% or more across all matches can be pulled out of Hero Pool rotation. No hero can be removed more than once during the season.

Map Pools

Like in previous seasons, Map Pools will be used to limit the number of maps teams have to prepare for. Qualifying matches will use a predetermined map schedule. Tournament knockout rounds and playoffs will have the highest seed determine the initial Control Map pick, with the loser of each map picking the map for the next round. All regular-season matches are played “First to Three,” meaning the match continues indefinitely until one team earns three map wins. The map pool along with what order of map types are played will change in each monthly tournament.

Game Patches

For competitive integrity, the League will play using the current live patch the week before the start of each monthly tournament and will stay on that patch throughout that tournament cycle. For the May Melee, this means we can expect the League to compete on version 1.59, where we have seen the brawly “Rush” comps in western Contenders regions and fast-paced “Dive” comps in the east.

Broadcast Schedule

This year, the Overwatch League broadcast schedules are set to make it easier for everyone around the world to cheer on their favorite local teams. West region matches will start at Noon Pacific time, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. East region matches start at 2 AM Pacific Time, but select matches will have live “Encore” broadcasts for the North American city-based teams currently competing in the East region starting at 10 AM Pacific before the start of the live matches on that day.

Viewership Rewards

Finally, the Overwatch League is providing viewership rewards again to everyone who signs in with their linked BattleNet account. The Overwatch League Perks presented by T-Mobile will offer Overwatch League tokens as you watch throughout the season. You will earn five tokens for every hour watched. There will also be bonus rewards for watching the Playoff rounds during the tournament week of each monthly tournament, including an Overwatch League Home and Away skin for a selected hero and a community-designed spray celebrating that tournament! To celebrate the start of the season, tune in for at least four hours of the opening week to earn a spray designed by Overwatch League host Soe Gschwind!

The best part about this year’s rewards is that you can now watch on YouTube.com, the YouTube mobile app, OverwatchLeague.com, or the Overwatch League Mobile App. If you watch on YouTube, make sure you connect your Blizzard BattleNet and YouTube accounts by clicking the Rewards button below the live video player. If you watch on the Overwatch League website or mobile app, simply be signed in with your Blizzard BattleNet account. Remember to follow my streaming rewards guide if you need help signing in and earning your Overwatch League rewards!

Wow, that was a lot to go over, but now you know what you can expect from the 2021 Overwatch League season. If you like to know when Overwatch League matches or any other Overwatch reward eligible live stream goes live, be sure to follow and turn on notifications to my Twitter feed @DropsWatch.

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