The Overwatch League has revealed its plans for the 2021 playoff format and fans will once again be getting the opportunity to see top teams compete in-person in a series of live events to close out the season.
As the Overwatch League heads into its final tournament of the year, the Countdown Cup, teams will begin to clinch their spots in the final playoffs that will determine the league champion.
On the Western side, the top three teams will automatically qualify while the top two in the APAC region at the end of the season will be in.
This is why winning or doing well in the four tournaments throughout the season are so important to securing byes and guaranteeing spots in the postseason. It’s not all doom and gloom for the teams outside of bye-range, however.
The West will also be sending an additional two teams while Asia will send one more to make up the final eight teams in the overall playoffs.
Beginning September 4, single-elimination qualifiers will take place. The West will have its 4th through 9th seeds duke it out while Asia will have their 3rd through 5th ranked teams compete to decide the final three playoff bound teams. Basically, the play-ins will look very similar to the format for qualifying matches for the four regular-season tournaments.
The higher seeds remaining in each region will have a few advantages such as being able to choose their opponent in the first round and have their choice of the first map played in a series.
Playoffs and Grand Finals
Once the online regionals are complete and the bracket is set, the final eight teams will travel to the Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas for the playoff matches on September 16-19.
When the dust settles and there are only two teams left standing, the Grand Finals match will be set.
Grand Finals will take place at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on September 25. Previously, New York and Philadelphia have played host to the final match and this will be the first time the west coast is home to the last game of the season.
In total, there is $3.2 million on the line, with the league champion bringing home the most with $1,500,000 and the championship trophy.
The runner-up team will earn $700,000; third-place, $350,000; fourth, $250,000; fifth, $200,000; sixth ,$100,000; and seventh and eighth will each get $50,000.
With so much of the season dictated by online play, getting teams back together for live events with fans should be a brilliant experience, especially with Texas being home for playoffs.
The first-ever OWL home game was hosted by the Dallas Fuel and is widely considered one of the greatest Overwatch events of all time. Given how successful Dallas’s season has been so far, the home crowd advantage could end up coming in handy.
There are still four weeks of regular season action to go and every point matters, especially with so many teams still in the running to make qualifiers or earn enough to guarantee themselves a playoff berth.