March 17, 2020 / 6:41 PM / 12 days ago

Overwatch League announces revamped schedule

The Overwatch League, which canceled homestands in March and April because of the coronavirus pandemic, released its revised schedule on Tuesday for matches to be played online.

The matches will be available to view both live and on demand on YouTube.

The league has been organized into three groups based on geography to minimize “latency issues” for online competition, the league said. The groups will consist of Atlantic Conference (10 teams), Pacific Conference (six teams, including the Seoul Dynasty) and China (four teams).

Play resumes Saturday with the Dynasty meeting the San Francisco Shock and the two Los Angeles teams — the Gladiators and the Valiant — facing off. On Sunday, the Gladiators will play the Dynasty while the Valiant will take on the Shock.

The weekend of March 28-29 will feature 16 matches involving 16 of the league’s 20 teams.

The Overwatch League cautioned, however, that the new schedule was drawn out of practicality.

“In the course of playing this portion of the 2020 schedule, each team will play the amount of matches necessary to catch them up to the total amount of matches they had been scheduled to play through the midseason point of the original schedule,” according to a league statement. “This means Pacific Conference teams will generally play more frequently than teams in the Atlantic Conference. The schedule was designed to maximize fairness between teams, factoring in the total amount of matches played each week.

“The original 2020 schedule was balanced so that teams would play twice against teams in their own conference (18 of 28 matches) and once against the other conference (10 of 28 matches). With teams playing by regional location, the schedule can no longer adhere to that breakdown. Some teams will play more than two matches against other teams, and some teams won’t play each other. The league is currently evaluating changes to the structure of the 2020 playoffs — including format and qualification — to account for this change.”

The league said it intends to resume team-hosted homestand competitions with live audiences “as soon as it is safe and logistically possible” to do so.

—Field Level Media

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