Blizzard is preparing to take the next big step with Overwatch esports later today, as the inaugural season of Blizzard’s Overwatch League launches its preseason at 7 p.m. EST.
The preseason will run from December 6 to December 9, with a total of 12 matches being played. Much like the regular season, preseason matches will be held at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, and will be streamed on the Overwatch League website.
The Overwatch League is one of the first esports leagues that will feature city-based teams, of which there are twelve in the opening season. The teams are broken into two divisions, Atlantic and Pacific, and are divided as follows:
Atlantic Division: Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Philidelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior.
Pacific Division: Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai Dragons.
The opening match will feature the Florida Mayhem going up against the San Francisco Shock. The Philadelphia Fusion were scheduled to play in the first preseason match, but were replaced by the San Francisco after Philadelphia pulled out of the preseason earlier this week due to unclear “player logistics issues.”
After the end of the preseason, the first stage of the Overwatch League’s regular season will begin on January 10, 2018. The main season is split into four stages, each spanning five weeks and containing a $125,000 prize pool. Following the conclusion of the regular season on June 16, playoffs will be held from July 11 to July 22, with a grand final taking place from July 26 to July 28. It will feature a $1 million prize pool.
For players looking to cheer on a particular team, Blizzard plans to implement new team-specific skins into Overwatch early next year, which will only be available through a new currency called League Tokens.
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