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Overwatch League Season 2 preview: Start date, new teams, how to watch, and more
Overwatch League Season 2 is fast approaching as Blizzard Entertainment looks to cement the popular hero shooter’s place as one of the world’s biggest esports franchises.
After a thrilling inaugural season which drew in millions of viewers, Overwatch League Season 2 is set to up the ante with expansion teams, new players, format changes, fresh maps, and two brand new heroes.
Here’s everything you need to know about Overwatch League Season 2!
What is Overwatch League?
Overwatch League is a pro esports league based on Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch — a hit online first-person shooter for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
The league features 20 city-based teams from around the world that compete to be crowned league champions and win cash prizes.
The teams are split into two divisions — Pacific and Atlantic — while also entering into an overall league table featuring all 20 teams.
For Season 2, each team will face a 28-match schedule across four, five-week long stages. Each of the first three stages ends with a playoff tournament with knock-out rules where the top ranked teams face off for the title of stage champions.
Once all four stages are complete, the winners of each division, the four top ranked teams overall, and two additional teams (decided by a mini-tournament between the 7th-12th ranked teams) go on to the grand finals where the ultimate Overwatch League Season 2 winner will be crowned.
The overall prize pool for Overwatch League Season 2 is $5 million, up from $3.5 million in Season 1. The winners are expected to take home just over $1 million.
Season 2 will feature longer breaks between matches for each team in an effort to combat player burnout and fatigue. The All-Star Weekend — a “for fun” selection of matches featuring Arcade game modes and a Talent Takedown match starring the Overwatch League production team — will also be hosted between Stage 2 and Stage 3 instead of after the Grand Finals.
When does Overwatch League Season 2 start?
Overwatch League Season 2 starts on February 14, 2019 and the regular season is set to end on August 25, 2019.
The opening match is a rematch between Overwatch League Season One grand finalist Philadelphia Fusion and the overall winner London Spitfire.
Where is Overwatch League Season 2 held and how to get tickets
As with Season One, Overwatch League Season 2 matches will be hosted live on stage at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, California.
Fans looking to watch the action in person can buy season tickets, one-off tickets, and team tickets. The general admission price varies but tends to fall between $20 – $30.
In a change from the inaugural season, three of the Overwatch League teams — Atlanta Reign, Dallas Fuel, and Los Angeles Valiant — will host Homestand Weekends where games will be played in their home cities.
They fall in the penultimate week of Stage 2 (Dallas Fuel, Allen Event Center in North Texas), and the last week of Stage 3 (Atlanta Reign, TBC) and Stage 4 (Los Angeles Valiant, The Novo by Microsoft at LA Live, Los Angeles).
How to watch Overwatch League Season 2
If you can’t make it to the event itself you can join millions of other Overwatch League fans by watching live on the following streaming platforms, websites, and Android/iOS apps:
The most dedicated fans can also sign-up for the Overwatch League All-Access Pass on Twitch for $14.99 which gives viewers access to the Command Center viewer, ad-free viewing, exclusive badges and emotes, and more.
How do I get Overwatch League Tokens?
To show support for their chosen team, Overwatch players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One can unlock Overwatch League home and away team skins for each of the game’s heroes. These skins are recolors of every hero’s regular look with added team logos.
Overwatch League skins are purchased in game with Overwatch League Tokens. These can be bought with real-world money or earned by watching Overwatch League streams live on Twitch, MLG, or the official Overwatch League website by linking their Blizzard Battle.net account.
Viewers that have linked their accounts earn one League Token after every map win during the broadcast. When a match ends, 100 League Tokens are also randomly awarded to a small number of viewers.
For more instructions on how to link your accounts and regional restrictions, check out Blizzard’s guide here.
What patch will Overwatch League Season 2 Stage 1 be played on?
Overwatch League Season 2 Stage 1 is confirmed to run on Overwatch patch 22.214.171.124. That means heroes Wrecking Ball and Ashe will both be playable in Overwatch League Season 2.
The patch also includes nerfs to armor, D.Va’s Defence Matrix ability, Brigitte’s Rally Ultimate, and big buff to Reaper’s passive lifesteal ability, The Reaping.
Blizzard endured a fair share of criticism during Overwatch League Season 1 for its attitude towards major game updates.
Without going into specifics, on several occasions throughout the season there were entire stages or playoffs tournaments that ran on Overwatch gameplay patches that were painfully outdated.
This culminated in a strange scenario where the whole of Stage 4 ran on a patch where Hanzo still had the Scatter Arrow ability despite it being removed from the game in a character rework several weeks prior.
Blizzard has hinted that it will try to improve the disconnect between the live game and its marquee esports tournament for Season 2.
Overwatch League Season 2 Teams
Overwatch League Season 2 will feature eight new teams taking the grand total of competing teams up to 20. U.S. cities dominate the league with a total of 11 teams while 3 represent China, 2 for Canada, and 1 for France, the U.K., and South Korea.
Team rosters are not region locked so any player of any nationality can represent a city (for example, 2018 champions London Spitfire has an all-Korean roster).
Here are all the teams competing in Overwatch League Season 2:
City: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Players to watch: Dafran, Pokpo, Daco
City: Chengdu, China
Players to watch: Lateyoung, Yveltal, YangXiaoLong
City: Guangzhou, China
Players to watch: Happy, Hotba, Chara
City: Hangzhou, China
Players to watch: Krystal, Guxue, GodsB
City: Paris, France
Players to watch: Soon, Shadowburn, Benbest
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Players to watch: Ivy, Neko, Asher
City: Vancouver, Canada
Players to watch: Bumper, Haksal, Slime
City: Washington D.C., U.S.
Players to watch: Sansam, Ado, Janus
City: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Players to watch: Note, Gamsu, Kellex
City: Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Players to watch: OGE, Mickie, Taimou
City: Miami, Florida, U.S.
Players to watch: Sayaplayer, Hagopeun, Xepher
City: Houston, Texas, U.S.
Players to watch: Linkzr, Muma, Coolmatt
City: London, U.K.
Players to watch: Profit, Gesture, Fury
Los Angeles Gladiators
City: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Players to watch: Decay, Roar, Surefour
Los Angeles Valiant
City: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Players to watch: Space, Fate, Agilities
New York Excelsior
City: New York City, New York, U.S.
Players to watch: Jjonak, Saebyeolbe, Meko
City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Players to watch: Carpe, Boombox, Neptuno
San Francisco Shock
City: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Players to watch: Sinatraa, Super, Architect
City: Seoul, South Korea
Players to watch: Fissure, Fleta, Ryujehong
City: Shanghai, China
Players to watch: Geguri, Diem, Fearless
That’s our Overwatch League Season 2 preview. Which team will you be cheering on? Let us know in the comments!