Season 2 of the Overwatch League is set to kick off, and yesterday’s preview stream gave us intriguing new details about how that’s going to play out. We now know that in addition to the normal matches at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, there will be road matches played throughout the season in teams’ cities around the world, a chance for local fans to attend matches. We don’t know which games those will be yet, but it will be a fun test of the city-based thesis that’s been behind the Overwatch League since its launch; it’s also set to become the norm in Season 3 next year. We can expect more news on this next week.
We also know that teams will be playing less throughout the year, even though there are more teams; the schedule is changing so each team plays 28 matches instead of 40, meaning they can have weeks off. Start times are also changing to better accommodate players outside of the United States.
The first match of 2019 will be a rematch of the first season’s grand finals, as the London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion face off. Boston and New York follow up immediately afterward, building on that traditional city-based rivalry. After losing Fissure during playoffs, the Los Angeles Gladiators will face him on the Seoul Dynasty. The first day is set to wrap with the two most hyped Chinese teams, the Hangzhou Spark and the Shanghai Dragons, going head to head.
Day 2 sees the debut of four more expansion teams, with the Toronto Defiant, Atlanta Reign, Gangzhou Charge, and Chengdu Hunters playing. The last match puts both Chinese teams against each other in a fun test of the region’s skills.
The Paris Eternal, Vancouver Titans, and Washington Justice debut on Saturday. The Vancouver Titans, who have picked up the hyped RunAway roster from Korea, are set to play against the Dragons. The Los Angeles Valiant, who took the Season 4 stage championship, is set to tangle with the Hangzhou Spark.
Tickets go on sale on Dec. 12; Season 2 will start on Valentine’s Day, which is appropriate, because it looks like there’s a lot to love about the changes made to the League and its opening matches so far.