The esports scene in Overwatch continues to evolve, with 2021 paving the way for brand-new changes to how teams will be going up against each other. The next season of the Overwatch League will be starting in April 2021 with twenty different teams from around the world competing to see who will come out on top.
These changes were made in response to the performance and fan reception of last year’s Overwatch League tournament. One of the biggest changes with this upcoming season is the separation of the Eastern and Western League teams until the playoffs and finals.
There are eight Overwatch League teams in an “East” division, featuring primarily teams based out of South Korea and China. These teams are the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty.
Meanwhile, there are twelve teams in the “West” division representing North America and Europe. These teams are the Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Paris Eternal, San Francisco Shock, Vancouver Titans, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice.
Once the season begins, both the eastern and western teams will be competing in qualifying matches to decide on the seating places of the teams. While those in charge of the Overwatch League are hoping to bring back live events for the esports competition, the status of these remains up in the air with it being very reliant on the state of the world involving COVID-19 later on in 2021.
On the technical side of the Overwatch League, in order to make sure that every team has an equal playing field no matter their location, a special minimum latency feature will be implemented for the players during matchups. This feature will also be used when teams from the west go up against the teams from the east later on in the competition.
Those in the management of the Overwatch League are additionally looking to do more with YouTube in 2021. This includes increasing quality of the official league streams and giving out rewards to those watching the streams live. Other parts of stream improvements are planned to include upgrades to the stream’s virtual sets and viewer interfaces.
For esports fans watching the Overwatch League, 2021 is sure to be filled with improvements and surprises down the line. This new season will be beginning in April, so there’s plenty of time for even more announcements to be revealed.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.