The Overwatch League confirmed Thursday that the league’s 2021 season will begin in April and announced division swaps for the East’s London Spitfire and West’s Los Angeles Valiant.
Vice President of Overwatch Esports Jon Spector went in detail on YouTube, about what the divisions will be for this upcoming season. Spector also confirmed that the Overwatch League would continue with the four-tournament format from the 2020 season, with the season concluding in September.
Divisional changes for 2021 Overwatch League
The Overwatch League’s divisions remained mostly the same for the 2021 season, with the names for the divisions changing to reflect regional competition.
Last year, the league featured the North American region and the APAC region, which will be renamed as the West and East regions, respectively, for 2021.
Play in the Overwatch League will begin online this year, with teams moving from one division to the other based on complications from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The East region, which is primarily made up of international teams, will add some U.S. representatives as well. The Los Angeles Valiant are headed to the East, which brings the division to eight teams. In late 2020, the Philadelphia Fusion also announced their move to the East region.
Then, we have the 12-team West region, which adds one notable contender from the 2020 campaign. While there were opportunities for several teams to shift divisional alignment, the West remained mostly intact while adding the London Spitfire. There are teams like the Florida Mayhem, who are mostly comprised of South Korean players and coaches, who could’ve moved to the East but chose to stay in the West.
BlizzCon, Flash Ops Kanezaka, and San Fran vs. The World
Spector also revealed the Overwatch League has updated its approach to commentary during events. The league will feature a virtual desk this year and updated templates for its casting booth and analyst desk.
Spector also addressed the upcoming Flash Ops Kanezaka Community tournament from Jan. 22-24 and confirmed BlizzCon Online for February. BlizzCon will feature an Overwatch League champion San Francisco Shock vs. the World event and is expected to offer more information on the game’s sequel, Overwatch 2.