With one season under its belt, the Overwatch League is already mixing things up.
After its inaugural season, the fledgling e-sports league announced it would add another eight teams for its return in 2019. The new additions representing Atlanta, Paris, Toronto, and Washington D.C. will join the existing Atlantic Division while new teams for Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, China, and Vancouver will join the Pacific Division.
The 2019 season kicks off Thursday, Feb. 14, and will have a modified schedule going forward. Each team will play 28 games over four stages lasting five weeks. Each stage will consist of seven matches with teams playing zero to two matches a week, allowing for a more flexible schedule. The Overwatch League says this means teams will have more opportunities to play in their home cities as well. In addition to adding more breaks for teams in between matches, the downtime in between stages will be longer too. The time between stages two and three especially will be extended, which coincides with this year’s All-Star event.
There will also be stage finals after stages one through three, and the playoffs will take place after stage four ends. The playoffs get some growth too. Similarly to last year, the divisional champions and the four next seeded teams will automatically go on to the final bout of competition. This season, however, the remaining teams will get another chance at a spot by battling it out in a win-or-go-home bracket. The top two teams will join the playoffs.
Even more information, including the 2019 season schedule and tickets, will be coming from the Overwatch League soon.