The Overwatch League is no stranger to changes in format. After an exhausting 12 hour Saturday determined the victor of the league’s first stage, the league office quickly determined that their set up wasn’t quite ideal and switched playoffs to Sunday, rather than Saturday after the final regular stage games. Now, in the brief intermission between Stages Two and Three, there has been another change has been announced that will move the top four teams into playoffs.
During the league’s first two stages, only the top three teams made it into playoff competition with the team that owned the best record at the end of the stage’s last day getting a free pass to the finals, while the lower two seeds went head to head to determine who would advance. Now, all four of the top teams, in terms of record, will advance to the stage finals, which will still be played on Sundays.
As a part of the new format, the top seeded team at the end of the stage will no longer receive a bye into the Finals match, instead, they will have their choice of any of the other three playoff teams to face in the first round. This allows the top seeded team to still retain a huge benefit from placing first, getting to select the opponent they match up best against, while still forcing the team to earn their spot in the Finals.
These changes will take effect in Stage Three, which kicks off its first week of play Wednesday, April 4.