Overwatch League schedule undergoes big changes for online-only play

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Last week, the Overwatch League cancelled all live events until at least May as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, although matches themselves would go ahead, with some changes to the schedule to compensate. Today the league revealed the updated schedule, which will see a full slate of games hosted by the Overwatch League rather than individual teams.

The new schedule aims to eliminate the need for travel and minimize latency issues by matching up teams in similar regions. Blizzard said the new schedule is "designed to maximize fairness between teams, factoring in the total amount of matches played each week," but Pacific Conferences teams will "generally" play more frequently than teams in the Atlantic Conference, so that all teams will be caught up to the number of matches they had been scheduled to play by the season midpoint.

"The original 2020 schedule was balanced so that teams would play twice against teams in their own conference (18 of 28 matches) and once against the other conference (10 of 28 matches). With teams playing by regional location, the schedule can no longer adhere to that breakdown," Blizzard explained

"Some teams will play more than two matches against other teams, and some teams won’t play each other. The league is currently evaluating changes to the structure of the 2020 playoffs—including format and qualification—to account for this change."

Matches will be played using the new Hero Pool selection process on the map set in the image below. The new week-by-week schedule is available in full at overwatchleague.com.

You can follow our coverage of all industry-related coronavirus updates here. For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization

(Image credit: Blizzard)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.