News The Overwatch League Preseason Begins Today, Here's What You Need to Know

Jonny Weston Dec 6, 2017

  1. Jonny Weston

    Jonny Weston
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    The inaugural season of Blizzard's Overwatch League kicks off later today with a series of preseason matches.

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    A total of 12 preseason matches will be held between now and Saturday, December 9, with the first match starting at 4 p.m. Pacific this afternoon. These are unrecorded exhibition matches with no prize money on the line.

    Like the regular season, preseason matches will be held at the newly opened Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California at Burbank Studios. Matches will also be streamed via the Overwatch League website.

    Modeled after traditional sports, the Overwatch League consists of 12 city-based teams with six to 12 players each. However, only 11 teams will compete in the preseason. Philadelphia representative Philadelphia Fusion dropped out of the preseason earlier this week "due to player logistics issues."

    The League's 12 teams make up Atlantic and Pacific divisions.

    The Atlantic division includes: Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, the Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior.

    The Pacific division consists of: Dallas Fuel, the Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and the Shanghai Dragons.

    As a result of Philadelphia's dropout, San Francisco Shock will play two games on the first day of the preseason.

    You can find the full preseason match lineups and times on the Overwatch League website. Note that Friday and Saturday's matches will be determined by the results of the preceding matches.

    The first stage of the Overwatch League's regular season begins January 10, 2018. The main season is broken into four stages, each spanning five weeks. Each stage has a $125,000 prize pool. The final stage ends June 16.

    To qualify for the championship playoffs, which will be held from July 11 to July 22, a team must either win their division or rank in the top six in the regular season.

    The grand final will be held from July 26 to July 28. It commands a $1 million prize pool.

    Following the grand final, from August 10 to August 12, there will be an "all-star weekend" in which "the community's favorite players face off in unexpected challenges," the Overwatch League website reads.

    The location of the playoff, grand final and all-star matches has not yet been announced.

    The Overwatch League is slated to advance Overwatch esports considerably, in large part thanks to numerous structural improvements.

    Blizzard previously announced that League players will receive competitive salaries and benefits outside of prize pools. The studio has also been working to address the spectating experience with custom skins and new camera modes.

    Source: IGN.com
     

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