The Overwatch League 2021 season kicks off on April 16. Twenty teams form two regions to compete in a different format this year.

The Overwatch League is back for the 2021 season. As Overwatch fans get excited to see their favorite teams and players back in action, here’s a quick preview of the tournament, its format and schedule.

Overwatch League 2021 format

The regular season play comprises four tournament circles – May Melee, June Joust, Summer Showdown, and Countdown Cup. The twenty teams are part of two groups (east and west)  based on their location for the season. Each tournament circle features the top two teams from each region.

The top two teams from the West region will travel to Hawaii for tournaments. They will play against the Eastern teams via a direct routed connection from Hawaii to Asia. 

New scoring system

A massive number of people watching an Overwatch League game.
Overwatch League will feature three in-person events in China. Image Credit: Overwatch League.

The Overwatch League is migrating to a new scoring system for this year. Teams play sixteen qualifier matches throughout the season. Each win rewards teams with one point. Teams can also earn additional points at the tournaments with the following division:

  • 1st place = 3 League points.
  • 2nd place = 2 League points.
  • 3rd place = 1 League point.

Teams accrue League points to determine their seeding and qualification for a specific tournament. Regular season match wins—not including tournament wins—is the top tiebreaker to determine ordering among teams with the same amount of League Points.

League points during the regular season will help determine qualification and seeding for the playoffs. The top three teams from the West and the top two teams from the East will qualify directly to the playoffs. The teams play in a double-elimination bracket where the playoffs teams meet the top play-in teams.

A play-in tournament for each region will qualify an additional three teams—two from the West and one from the East—into the remaining spots in the eight-team double-elimination playoff bracket.

OWL 2021 schedule

Here’s the schedule for Overwatch League 2021 regular season.

OWL 2021 kicks off on April 16. Image Credit: Overwatch League.

OWL Teams 

The Overwatch League teams are part of two regions based on their location for the season. The East has eight teams while the West has twelve teams. The top teams from each region will compete in the four tournaments. 


East

  • Philadelphia Fusion
  • Chengdu Hunters
  • Hangzhou Spark
  • Guangzhou Charge
  • New York Excelsior
  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • Shanghai Dragons
  • Seoul Dynasty


West

  • Dallas Fuel.
  • Houston Outlaws.
  • Paris Eternal.
  • Toronto Defiant.
  • Vancouver Titans.
  • Washington Justice.
  • Boston Uprising.
  • Atlanta Reign.
  • San Francisco Shock.
  • Los Angeles Gladiators.
  • Florida Mayhem.
  • London Spitfire.

What’s the Prize pool Distribution in the Overwatch League?

The Overwatch League has a $425,000 prize pool that will be split up between the tournaments and the playoffs. 

Tournaments

  • 1st place: $100,000.
  • 2nd place: $70,000.
  • 3rd place: $35,000.
  • 4th place: $20,000.

Playoffs

  • 1st place: $1,500,000.
  • 2nd place: $700,000.
  • 3rd place: $350,000.
  • 4th place: $300,000.
  • 5th place: $200,000.
  • 6th place: $100,000.
  • 7th place: $50,000.
  • 8th place: $50,000.

Where to watch Overwatch League?

Fans can watch the Overwatch League on YouTube. Activision Blizzard has signed a multi-year broadcast deal with YouTube Gaming for Overwatch, Call of Duty and Hearthstone esports.  All live broadcasts featuring teams playing in the West will start at 12 p.m. PT, and broadcasts featuring teams playing in the East will start at 5 p.m. China Standard Time/6 p.m. Korea Standard Time.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Overwatch League news and updates

Rohan Samal -

Rohan Samal

| Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Junior editor at Esports.gg. Still waiting to attend my first TI.