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The Overwatch League has begun its full assault into the esports world with their announcements today. First 3 teams have been finalized for the Inaugural Season One which will take place in Los Angeles. Now the start dates have been announced. It looks like Blizzard will host the season from January 10th all the way through June with a summer playoffs and finals coming in July. This solid six month season gives the opportunity for many games and matches between the initial twelve teams. Here is our speculation on how the season might break down.
Here is the press release outlining all the information on the Overwatch League update. With three teams added in for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia it is great to see that preseason will begin at the end of the year. December 6th begins the matches in Los Angeles. Read below as we continue to bring you as much coverage as we can on all these announcements.
September 20, 2017—The stage is now set for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League™. Teams for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia have signed on, bringing the total for the first season to the targeted 12 franchises representing major cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. The new team owners announced today are:
Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), leader in sports and entertainment and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers
Team Envy (Dallas), veteran esports organization with experience across multiple genres
OpTic Gaming (Houston), established esports organization known for its passionate global fan base
Is Disney primed to be a major player in the Overwatch League? Our guess is absolutely! Disney XD is a channel geared to a younger hardcore audience. This weekend they began broadcasting reruns of the Overwatch World Cup series with their first episode of Shanghai. So we’re going to build out a landscape for you in terms of why a Disney and Blizzard partnership makes sense and how we are seeing the early stages of it already. Did we mention Disney owns ESPN?
Today is September 14th. We have about 7 weeks until BlizzCon. The player signing window closes at the end of October which means teams will have a full week to prepare for getting their announcements ready. Here are our top five predictions on what we think you can expect from the Overwatch League at BlizzCon this year:
Season 1 Schedule
Everyone knows that Season One will be played in L.A. at the newly formed Blizzard Arena. The big question is, no one knows when it will start? Blizzard had said last year that this league would begin in 2017. Now they have to deliver on that expectation. So, how do they do it? Well, many of the chips are in place for Season One to start. Our guess is that the schedule will launch in either December or January of 2018. Think of it from a viewing perspective. The winter months are ideal for watching esports at home. Many people especially in the Northeast are indoors and you’ll have a solid few months to build up fandom. So, the schedule will be announced at BlizzCon and well, it may just start right away.
Blizzard announced today that they are setting up a live event arena in Los Angeles. This will be where season one of the Overwatch League is taking place. You can read the details here:
IRVINE, Calif.—September 7, 2017—World-class esports have a new home in the entertainment capital of the world. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition. Situated in the legendary Burbank Studios, once home to groundbreaking television shows, the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles has been custom-tailored to support an exciting live-event experience for local attendees and broadcast audiences around the world. When the Arena opens for business on October 7, top competitors from across Blizzard esports will be the newest stars to shine on one of the most celebrated stages in television history.
Blizzard just announced the new Overwatch map, Junkertown! We’ve been waiting for more content for the Junkers for a while now. While we’re still waiting on more characters – it’s nice to see Junkrat and Roadhog get their own map!
Day two continued the trend of Katowice being sweep city for the Overwatch World Cup group stages. Russia, Canada, South Korea and the Netherlands once again swept their opponents 4-0 in convincing fashion. A great deal of talk is now surrounding the showdown between Canada and Russia tomorrow. The winner will avoid Korea early during the knockout stage of the competition due to the way seeding is done.
Group E showcased South Korea playing against Poland and the Netherlands facing off with Austria. South Korea continued their dominance over their group winning all four maps. They did, however, drop their first capture point of the weekend with Poland managing to cap the first point on Horizon Lunar Colony. The Netherlands stumbled a bit out of the gate against Austria, before narrowly squeaking through a 3-2 victory on Numbani. The Netherlands team showed some inconsistency at times, but ultimately their talent shone through and they swept the matchup.
Group F has some of the more compelling story-lines for the weekend. Canada’s star studded lineup continues to gel, leading to them dominating Singapore who could only muster up a few cheese strats. After the matches Chris “Huk” Loranger famed Canadian who has landed with the Boston Overwatch League team posted a congrats aimed at them on twitter. Could Huk be laying some early groundwork for bringing some of the Canadian stars to Boston? In the other match up for the day Russia flexed their muscles over Turkey, showing once again that their dive comp execution is top level.
Tomorrow’s matches are going to bring about the end of the undefeated streak for two of the teams. South Korea and the Netherlands square off at 6am EST Netherlands will certainly be the best challenge they’ve run into thus far this tournament but at the end of the day the South Korean team looks like the likely winners of their group. Russia and Canada should be a really exciting match. Both teams have fantastic players and have been playing well. Russia looks a bit stronger with their focus on and excellent execution of dive comps, but its possible Canada has yet to show their best strats. This game kicks off at 9:20am EST and frankly, we here at Overwatchscore can’t wait to watch!
Today, August 4th has some big names to follow in the Overwatch League World Cup. Most notably this group stage has South Korea playing in Group E and Canada playing in Group F. The group stages should begin to shed light on which players are going to be a focus for Overwatch League scouting for the next few months. While the group stages aren’t as competitive as the knockout stages, it will provide an opportunity for overlooked teams to make an impact and start getting attention for their country and their players.
Group E Highlights
So far we’ve seen the matches be completely one-sided. South Korea swept Austria 4-0 on maps and didn’t drop a single control point to their opponents. We all knew South Korea was going to be the team to beat, but it’s tough to say if this level of one sidedness was unexpected. We wonder if it’s indicative of the Koreans being better than the already lofty heights expected of them or if Austria just doesn’t have the competitive players to hang. The Netherlands posted another sweep over Poland, giving us another team to keep an eye on to see if they can keep their performances up. Going forward eyes will remain on the Korean players and their level of dominance vs. stronger competition. It’s safe to say after the beating they took it’s unlikely a lot of attention from potential Overwatch League Scouts will go towards the Austrian players.
Group F Highlights
Another one sided start for Group F with Canada sweeping Turkey and Russia Sweeping Singapore. Canada is already a famed team packing a lot of superstars and they did not disappoint with their victory. Russia was slightly less convincing in their win – having dropped a few capture points on a couple maps. They still swept the competition aside, however, and look to establish themselves as a powerhouse later in the tournament. After day 1 it’s clear that the Canada/Russia matchup will be the highlight match of the weekend.
There’s a lot more great Overwatch to follow here this weekend. Bookmark us and make sure you check in and see how the rest of the group stages develop. We’re definitely excited for Canada vs Russia and to start to see the best teams getting to go head-to-head. As things progress we’ll get a clearer picture of who is definitely destined for Overwatch League fame.