The Overwatch League revealed a bevy of information Wednesday about Season 2 of the league, including the divisions for the new franchise slots, changes to the season's structure and more.
The second season of the Overwatch League will begin Feb. 14 with eight new teams split among the league's two divisions. The Paris, Toronto, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. franchises will join the Atlantic Division, while Vancouver, Chengdou, Guangzhou and Hangzhou will join the Pacific Division.
The second season will sport major changes to the structure of the regular season. All 20 teams will play 28 matches over four five-week stages for a total of seven matches per stage. The match schedule will be more flexible, allowing players to visit home or relax more during the season.
Stage finals will only take place after Stages 1, 2 and 3. Those finals will expand to include the top eight teams from each stage in a seeded playoff bracket. Divisional winners will be seeded into the first or second seed, according to stage record, and followed by the next six teams in the standings.
Changes are also coming to the All-Star Weekend and to the postseason. The All-Star Break will now take place in the middle of the season, between Stages 2 and 3, which will in turn have a longer break between them.
Divisional champions and the next four teams in the standing, regardless of division, will still qualify for the postseason. Two more teams will also qualify based on the results of a play-in tournament following Stage 4 that pits the seventh through 12th place teams against one another.
More information about the 2019 season, including roster and brand announcements for the new franchise slots, will arrive in the coming months.
Atlanta and Guangzhou were the first two cities to join the league during the offseason. Blizzard announced the franchises Aug. 2. The other six cities followed suit Sept. 7. The franchises have each made acquisitions for staff, while most player signings have yet to receive official announcements.
Photo courtesy of Blizzard