Blizzard has given the esports community a reason to rejoice with the unveiling of a new competitive structure for its hero shooter game, Overwatch 2.
This announcement comes as a pleasant surprise, especially after the uncertainties surrounding the future of Overwatch 2’s professional competitive scene and the decline of the Overwatch League.
Introducing the Overwatch Champions Series
The Overwatch Champions Series (OWCS) is set to replace the Overwatch League as the cornerstone of Overwatch 2’s competitive circuit. Scheduled to commence on March 1, 2024, the OWCS represents a significant shift in Blizzard’s approach to esports.
It aims to cultivate a more open and regionally focused ecosystem, promising an inclusive and engaging experience for participants and fans alike.
Today, we are excited to introduce the new Overwatch Esports program and the Overwatch Champions Series!
🔗 Read our Blog https://t.co/rZ3FeYR6aL pic.twitter.com/0MKtSv3Fuf
— Overwatch Esports (@OW_Esports) January 23, 2024
Global Participation and Management
- Regions: The OWCS will be an international league open to players in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa (EMEA), and Asia.
- Management: The OWCS for Europe, North America, and EMEA will be managed by the ESL FACEIT Group (EFG). The OWCS Asia will be handled by WDG, the Korean tournament organizer known for managing the Overwatch Contenders in Korea, through the WARA.GG platform.
Partnerships and International Tournaments
Blizzard has also confirmed a partnership with DreamHack, planning two live international tournaments for the 2024 season:
- Dallas Event: May 31 – June 2 (First Stage)
- Stockholm Event: November (Grand Finals)
Viewership Rewards and Changes
As an added incentive for fans, Blizzard is introducing drops and rewards for engaging with Overwatch 2’s new competitive circuit content. However, it’s important to note that skins from contenders will no longer be available. Details about the accessibility of Overwatch League team cosmetics, tokens, and streaming platforms for viewing matches are yet to be clarified.
A New Era for Overwatch 2 Esports
The Overwatch Champions Series marks a significant and exciting development for Overwatch 2 esports. This new structure offers a fresh start for the game’s competitive scene, emphasizing accessibility, regional focus, and viewer engagement.
As the series begins, it will be interesting to see how these changes influence the landscape of Overwatch esports and the community’s response.