Despite having to cancel its homestands due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Overwatch League isn’t giving up on the 2020 season just yet. Instead of taking their show on the road, Blizzard have set up a brand new schedule to host League matches online. There are obviously some complications with holding competitive events like this online when the teams are so spread across the globe however, so things are going to be a little bit different for games in the coming weeks.
To avoid latency issues and make matches as fair as possible, the teams will be competing in the regions they’re currently residing in. The LA Gladiators, LA Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, Vancouver Titans and Dallas Fuel make up the US West Coast contingent. Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion, New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice will compete against each other on the East Coast (and in Texas). And the Chinese teams, the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Shanghai Dragons will have their own sets of matches, too.
This means the season is going to be a bit weird for the time being – with six teams on the West Coast, 10 on the east and just four in China, some teams will be playing multiple games against each other to make sure everyone is competing in the same number of matches overall.
But it also means our favourite OWL players don’t need to do any unnecessary travel to compete, and we still get to watch some exciting matches with the new hero pools in place.
“In the course of playing this portion of the 2020 schedule, each team will play the amount of matches necessary to catch them up to the total amount of matches they had been scheduled to play through the midseason point of the original schedule,” Blizzard says. “This means Pacific Conference teams will generally play more frequently than teams in the Atlantic Conference. The schedule was designed to maximize fairness between teams, factoring in the total amount of matches played each week.
“We appreciate the support and understanding of all our players, teams, fans, and partners as we continue to adjust our planning and scheduling based on new developments. The league plans to return to team-hosted homestand competitions in front of live audiences as soon as it is safe and logistically possible.”
If you’re looking to find out what other game-related events have been put on hold or are making other arrangements due to the pandemic, Alice O compiled a big list of gaming coronavirus cancellations.