When Blizzard Entertainment announced the debut of the Overwatch League (OWL), gamers around the world became immediately curious. The popular multiplayer first-person shooter has some 200,000-400,000 players who log on every week, but there are obviously some legendary gamers who are consistently top-ranked from week to week.
Which is why Blizzard decided to launch the OWL — to showcase those players to the rest of the world.
How does the Overwatch League work?
The OWL is made up of 20 teams, which are based in different cities from all over the globe. Here's the total list of teams that are divided up into two groups: Atlantic and Pacific.
- Atlanta Reign
- Boston Uprising
- Florida Mayhem
- Houston Outlaws
- London Spitfire
- New York Excelsior
- Paris Eternal
- Philadelphia Fusion
- Toronto Defiant
- Washington Justice
- Chengdu Hunters
- Dallas Fuel
- Guangzhou Charge
- Hangzhou Spark
- Los Angeles Gladiators
- Los Angeles Valiant
- San Francisco Shock
- Seoul Dynasty
- Shanghai Dragons
- Vancouver Titans
The Overwatch League regular season explained.
Just like other traditional sports, the OWL e-sports season is comprised of a series of matches with different teams vying for a spot in the playoffs. 280 total matches will take place between all 20 teams. The teams will play all the way up to the fall, when the playoffs begin. For a full look at the 2019 schedule, you can check here. Matches take place Thursday through Sunday.
In total, the OWL will offer $5 million in prizes to participating gamers who are a part of the league. You can find the official rule and guidebook posted on the OWL website by clicking here.
The first match of 2019 took place on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2019 (there's a joke about lonely gamers in here somewhere). There are four separate stages with 70 games played between the 20 teams per stage. After stage 4, that's when the playoffs start. Make sense?
Here's where you can view the Overwatch League live stream.
Blizzard is making it pretty easy to view OWL matches. Fans have the choice of streaming the action on Twitch, MLG.com, or the MLG app for both iOS and Android. There are also dedicated OWL apps for both mobile operating systems, as well as the ability to stream right on the OWL website.
The Overwatch League has 12 hosts.
The OWL has 12 hosts who operate from around the globe to call the games: Christopher Mykles who'll be operating in the U.S., Erik Lonqquist who'll be reporting from Seoul, South Korea, Soe Gschwind who's based out of Switzerland, Chris Puckett in the U.S., Mitch Leslie out of Australia, Matthew Morello in the U.S., Jonathan Larrson out of Sweden, Auguste Massonnat from the U.S., Alberto Rengifo out of Venezuela, Brennon Hook from the U.K., Robert Kirkbride from the U.S., and Josh Wilkinson from the U.K.
Overwatch League betting details.
There are a variety of different sports betting sites that will take action on the outcome of Overwatch leagues games, like Oddsportal. You can bet on pretty much every single game as of now. Teams like Mayhem and Spark are favorites so you won't get that much for your betting buck, but the Uprising and Fuel can capture some nice coin if they manage to pull off an upset in their upcoming matches.
Overwatch League also has a "Summer Vacation" schedule between the second and third stages where the top-rated players from the Atlantic and Pacific divisions participate in custom games and an All-Star match where they can nab some extra prizes.
So will you be tuning in for the rest of the season? Are you an Overwatch gamer who wants to get into the league? There isn't any bureaucracy involved, all you need to do is get good enough in the open division to get drafted into the league. Maintain a great ranking and you should be able to join a city-based team after proving yourself. Learn more about it here.