Back to the Grind: Watchpoint 2019 Preview

Finally, after months of waiting, the first Watchpoint of Season 2 aired — and provided the much anticipated opening week schedule. There were some big changes that will be implemented in season 2 in the hopes of providing a much more dynamic year and taking into consideration the players’ needs.

First, the eight expansion teams were formally introduced. In the Atlantic Division, the Atlanta Reign, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice were added, along with the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and  Vancouver Titans for the Pacific Division.

But the real changes were to the schedule itself. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Instead of each team playing 40 matches during regular season, they will play 28 matches.
  • Last year, games were played from Wednesday to Saturday. This season, they will be played Thursday through Sunday with four games per day.
  • On Thursday and Friday, the games will start at 4:00pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm, and 8:30pm PT.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, the games will start at 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, and 4:30pm PT.

Last year’s All-Star game took place after the Grand Finals, but this time it will be a little different, moving to the end of Stage 2 instead. Finally, instead of every game being played at Blizzard Arena, there will be road games, where fans outside of LA can finally have that live experience they’ve always wanted.

For the stage playoffs, eight teams are able to seal the deal; the division winners, like last year, will be given the #1 and #2 seeds. These games will also happen Thursday through Sunday. The quarterfinal games will be first to 3 maps while the semifinals and the finals will crown a winner after 4 map wins.

While the top six teams will automatically qualify for the playoffs, the bottom six will compete in a play-in tournament for the final two spots. You lose, you’re not going in.

Got it so far? Good, because here is your first weekend schedule, beginning on Valentine’s Day, with a heck of a rematch to start this season off:

Thursday, February 14th:

Philadelphia Fusion vs. London Spitfire
Boston Uprising vs. New York Excelsior
Los Angeles Gladiator vs. Seoul Dynasty
Hangzhou Spark vs. Shanghai Dragons

Friday, February 15th:

Toronto Defiant vs. Houston Outlaws
Atlanta Reign vs. Florida Mayhem
Dallas Fuel vs. San Francisco Shock
Guangzhou Charge vs. Chengdu Hunters

Saturday, February 16th:

Paris Eternal vs. London Spitfire
New York Excelsior vs. Washington Justice
Hangzhou Spark vs. Los Angeles Valiant
Shanghai Dragons vs. Vancouver Titans

Sunday, February 17th:

Houston Outlaws vs. Boston Uprising
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Atlanta Reign
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock
Seoul Dynasty vs. Dallas Fuel

There you have it. Tickets go on sale at 8am on December 12th. And while you’re pondering which games you are going to, make sure you also check out The V Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to fighting against cancer. Founded by ESPN and partnered with Overwatch League, 100% of direct donations goes to fund cancer research and programs. It’s a fight worth undertaking.

Brittany "Briggsycakes" Gonzalez is a litta bitta switcha hitta Trinirican winna from Philly/New York who now resides in California as the Los Angeles Valiant's official hypewoman/meme victim. She can easily be bribed with apple pie and macaroni and cheese and thrives when writing about her own personal experiences regarding humanity's place in the esports/social media age. Don't @ her unprepared. Follow Briggsy on Twitter here.
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