Earlier this morning on Reddit, user sgbros1_ posted a link to their own tweet that included a screenshot from a Chinese message board that allegedly has details regarding the 2019 Overwatch League season. The original thread (on NGA.cn, in Mandarin) can be viewed by clicking here.
According to a Pastebin translation, here’s what we know about the 2019 Overwatch League season:
Season starts Thursday, February 14th, 2019
Still four Stages with five weeks each
28 matches per team
Paris, Toronto, Washington D.C., and Atlanta are a part of the Atlantic Division
Vancouver, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou are a part of the Pacific Division
First place in each division qualify for playoffs, followed by the next four ranking teams (regardless of division)
Two additional teams will qualify for the playoffs in a post-season wildcard round
Each week a team can play anywhere from 0 to 2 matches (indicating teams would get a bye week)
Mid-season breaks will be longer
All-Star Weekend will take place during the break between Stages Two and Three, and the break will be longer
What this leak doesn’t address, however, are Stage Playoffs, details of how each week’s schedule will look, and the preseason. While I can see why the League may decide to remove the preseason entirely, it’s not necessarily the best move.
The preseason may not have been very popular last year (or seen as successful by the League’s standards), but it did serve an important purpose: it was a live test run. Without doing live test runs to make sure things are running smoothly prior to the first day of the second season, there could be a lot of issues for viewers at home, the audience, and even the players. With all the changes to League staff, and the addition of teams and players unfamiliar with the environment, taking out the preseason may not be such a good idea.
We have reached out to Overwatch League PR for comment on this matter. We will update you as soon as we hear back.
The featured image for this post was provided by Blizzard Entertainment.
The leak was posted on a Chinese message board (NGA.cn).