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Your total primer for Overwatch League’s 2018 debut

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Everything you need to know before the Overwatch League officially gets started.

Blizzard Entertainment

The first matches of Blizzard’s Overwatch League are just a day away and we finally have all the details.

Blizzard has gathered 12 elite Overwatch teams from around the world and invited them all to compete in their year long competition at their esports studio in Burbank California.

With investment from some of the longest standing esports brands, as well as titans of traditional sports like the Kraft Sports Group and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, the Overwatch League is one of the most ambitious esports projects ever.

In order to help you keep track of all the in and outs of the league before it begins, we’ve organized everything you need to know about the 2018 Overwatch League.

What is Overwatch League?

Designed as Blizzard’s premier Overwatch tournament, the Overwatch League represents the highest possible level Overwatch competition. The Overwatch League will feature 10 teams from all across the world facing off against one another every week at Blizzard’s esports Arena in Los Angeles, California all leading up to a showdown at the end of each season to determine the best Overwatch team in the world.

How is this different from the Overwatch World Cup?

The Overwatch League teams that players compete with are their primary team. They practice together every day and, in most cases, live together. These are the teams that players will focus on most. Blizzard’s Overwatch World Cup is a slightly different competition that gathers players onto national teams to represent their home countries. These teams don’t necessarily practice together too often and it isn’t where players put most of their focus. However, much like the Overwatch World Cup had at Blizzcon, each of the teams in the Overwatch League will feature their own in-game uniforms and color schemes.

What is the format?

Each season of the Overwatch League will be broken down into two separate parts. The first is the regular season, which is divided into four stages that will each last five weeks. During the regular season, teams will be broken up into two separate divisions, Atlantic and the Pacific.

Teams will then compete against the other members of their group — for almost six months — in hopes of establishing the best record, cumulatively between all the stages, in order to advance to the second half of the competition, the postseason. In the postseason, the top teams from each division will enter the playoffs where they will compete for the title of Overwatch League champions and their share of the million dollar prize pool.

How can I watch?

The first stage of the Overwatch League regular season kicks off on Jan. 10 at 7:00 p.m. EST, and can be seen on the Overwatch League website, the Overwatch League mobile app, mlg.com, the MLG mobile app or on Twitch. Twitch will be the exclusive third-party livestreaming partner of the Overwatch League and will feature streams in English, Korean and French.

For a little background on every team in the Overwatch League, you can check out our Meet the Teams post, here.