Overwatch has been in a state of limbo for quite a while due to delays with the introduction of Overwatch 2.
One of the main issues for casual and professional players alike has been the lack of consistency on updates for the main game. Since the developers have been focusing on releasing Overwatch 2, there has been a notable decrease in the game balance and new content in the current version.
However, rumors of the demise of the game may be somewhat exaggerated. According to the analytics website, Active Player, the average monthly player count has remained consistent for an extended time period. The numbers from June 2021 all the way to February 2022 show average monthly players ranging from 6.8 million to 7.1 million.
These numbers are actually higher than the period from January 2019 to July 2019 when average monthly players ranged from 3.8 million to 5.0 million. The increase in Overwatch player counts could have to do with the pandemic which created a huge overall boom in gaming and esports. Nonetheless, the game remains quite popular among many gamers globally.
Into the mix comes an announcement from the Overwatch League announcing a brand new 2022 professional season. Here are the details of the announcement:
Mark your calendars—the 2022 Overwatch League season is just around the corner, featuring a new 5v5 format, an exciting new game mode, even more epic tournaments, and a planned return to global live events for the first time in nearly two years. Soe Gschwind and Matt “Mr. X” Morello were joined by new Overwatch League head Sean Miller—and a few special guests—to go over some of the details of the upcoming season, and we’re excited to share them with you!
Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Overwatch League season, which is scheduled to kick off May 5:
- The league will remain split into two regions, with the East Region featuring 7 teams and the West Region featuring 13 teams.
- East: Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Valiant, Philadelphia Fusion, Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai Dragons
- West: Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal, San Francisco Shock, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, Washington Justice
- Each team will play a minimum of 24 regular-season matches, including six seeding matches per tournament cycle.
- We’re adding one extra day and one extra week per tournament cycle to give teams more chances to prove themselves and achieve a more balanced strength of schedule.
- In the East, each team will play a round robin during each tournament cycle, and in the West each team will face off twice against every other opponent over the course of the season.
- We’ll be announcing our full schedule soon, so stay tuned!
General Tournament Info
Overwatch League tournaments produced some of the best moments and rivalries in the 2021 season, and we’re amping them up even more in 2022:
- The first and third tournaments of the season will be regional competitions.
- The format for regional tournaments will be expanded to feature more teams in each competition: four teams will qualify for and compete in the East Region tournaments, and eight teams in the West Region.
- Conditions permitting, the second and fourth tournaments of the year are planned to be global live events. To do this, we’re introducing a brand new midseason event—the Midseason Madness Global Tournament—in addition to the postseason tournament.
- The Midseason Madness Global Tournament will feature 12 teams—four from the East and eight from the West—competing in a double-elimination bracket over six days.
- The midseason and postseason tournaments will both feature a hefty prize pool of at least US $1 million.
- The final tournament of the season, the Countdown Cup, will serve as the play-ins for the postseason.
- Dates, times, and other details about tournaments and the postseason will be shared at a later date.
League Points and Playoff Qualification
After reviewing League Points, we wanted to make sure we reward top-performing teams without creating too much separation from the rest of the field. Here’s how League Points will work in 2022:
- Teams will get 1 League Point for every qualifier match win.
- Every team that qualifies for a regional tournament will receive 1 League Point regardless of wins during the tournament.
- The second-place team at each regional tournament will receive 2 total League Points, while the tournament champions will receive 3 total League Points.
- The Midseason Madness Global Tournament will offer a heftier reward: the third-place team will receive 2 total League Points, the second-place team 3 total League Points, and the champions 4 total League Points. As with the regional tournaments, every team that qualifies for the midseason event will receive 1 League Point.
At the end of the regular season, based on League Points, the top six seeds from the West will automatically qualify for the playoffs, as will the top three seeds from the East. The Countdown Cup play-ins will determine the final three teams—two from the West and one from the East. Other postseason details will be shared at a later date.