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Overwatch League Reveals Homestand Format, New Divisions For 2020 Season

July 16, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch League Vancouver Titans

The Overwatch League is revamping things for next year, announcing their homestand format and new divisions for the 2020 season. The League announced the details for the 2020 season on Tuesday, which include an expanded set of home games and the separation of their Pacific and Atlantic Conferences into four separate divisions to support future possible expansion.

The announcements come between the end of stage three, which saw the Shanghai Dragons come from the lowest seed to win the stage playoffs, and the fourth stage that kicks off next week. Blizzard announced that the season will run from February through August and, like this year, will see each team play 28 games.

The biggest announcement was the addition of homestands. Each team in the Overwatch League will be required to host between two to five local weekend events. These events will see the host teams responsible for selecting and operating venues, with the league handling broadcasts. The full schedule for the season will be released next month. The homestands follow the 2019 season’s three homestand weekends thus far in Dallas and Atlanta, with Los Angeles still to go on August 24th and 25th. The homestands have been a big success for the league, bringing sell-out crowds and new energy to the events.

In addition to the homestands, the Pacific and Atlantic Conferences will each be split into two divisions in 2020. The Pacific Conference will feature an East Division made up of the league’s Asia-based teams in the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty; The West Division will consist of the Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Valiant, Los Angeles Gladiators, San Francisco Shock, and Vancouver Titans.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic Conference will feature the Southern Division (the Atlanta Reign, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, Philadelphia Fusion, and Washington Justice) and the Northern Division (the Boston Uprising, New York Excelsior, Toronto Defiant, London Spitfire and Paris Eternal). As in 2019, each team will play teams from the opposite Conference once in the season and teams in their own Conference twice.

The other big change comes in the elimination of stages. Due to travel and scheduling requirements, the 2020 season will no feature the stage splits, though the midseason All-Stars event will remain. This means that OWL matches will take place every week of the season, with teams able to rest in designated bye weeks to prevent burnout.

The Overwatch League is a continued success in its second season; while viewership numbers are down on Twitch, the overall hours of OWL watched has risen and the league has had success in its airings on the ESPN App, Disney XD and ESPN 2 and 3. Thus far, only one team has announced their venue in the Los Angeles Valiant, who will call the Microsoft Theater their home. Other venues are expected to be announced soon.

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Overwatch League, Jeremy Thomas