Tomorrow, 10 January, Blizzard’s Overwatch League will see its first matches of the inaugural season play out at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Twelve teams representing cities from around the world will battle for $1 million, regional pride, and, of course, to be named the best professional team in Overwatch. Here’s some information you should know.
What is the Overwatch League?
Even if esports aren’t your thing, chances are you’ve at least heard of Overwatch League by now. I mean, they’ve even been shoving it down our throats on the in-game menu screen. Deviating from the standard LAN circuit routine, Blizzard is attempting to propel esports into unknown territory with Overwatch League. With $240 million secured through team entry fees alone, there’s quite a lot riding on it.
Does that mean it will automatically succeed? Of course not. Part of the fun of season one is seeing how teams will go about securing funding, how local markets react to them, and whether or not this is all sustainable. Owners remain very optimistic, though, so things are looking up heading into the start of season one.
Where to watch the Overwatch League?
If you’re not local to Burbank, you can always tune into the stream to catch every match as they unfold. Just announced moments ago, Twitch and Blizzard have entered into a two-year agreement to have matches streamed on everyone’s favorite platform. Yes, the return of Pogchamp spam will be glorious.
But maybe Twitch isn’t your thing. If you prefer, you can also watch the streams live on the Overwatch League site. I don’t know why you’d prefer that, but hey, options!
If hitting the local pub is more your style, you can always scan Twitter for viewing parties in your area. As esports evolves, catching games at pubs and restaurants will become increasingly normal and important to the expansion of the industry. It’s a ton of fun, and definitely encouraged.
Who is playing in the Overwatch League?
Week one will feature a number of rivalries. The very first game of the season will be the Los Angeles Valiant taking on the San Francisco Shock, with the last match being the Dallas Fuel against the Seoul Dynasty. That might seem like an odd rivalry, but Dallas is made up of the Team Envy roster who were the only non-Korean players to win an Overwatch Apex tournament.
If you plan on following the London Spitfire, they will open on Thursday against the Florida Mayhem. Thursday’s matches end with a classic east coast rivalry between the Boston Uprising and New York Excelsior. We’ll see how things play out for Chris “HuK” Loranger’s team as they try to take down New York’s roster of South Korean talent.
Want to know a little more about teams? MonteCristo goes into every team for new fans: