When the Overwatch League began, it was held in the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. However, the original plan was for its teams to eventually reside and play in their respective home cities. On March 15, commissioner Nate Nanzer announced that all teams would finally be making the move next year.
The @overwatchleague is coming home – and away! Starting in 2020, all Overwatch League teams will be playing in their home cities. We’re super excited to see our original vision brought to life. Thanks to all of our fans for your amazing support!
— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) March 15, 2019
The Overwatch League launched in December 2017 with its first and only preseason. There were twelve teams – all spots of which sold at a reported $20 million each. For the 2019 season, eight new expansion teams were introduced, giving Overwatch fans plenty of teams to choose from. There are now thirteen teams in North America, two in Europe, four in China, and one in South Korea. The relocation will give fans a chance to root for their local team on their home turf.
What does this mean for the players?
With this big move, there are some left wondering how relocating will impact Overwatch League players. Fans on social media expressed their concerns about how traveling will affect the players, and how it may result in burnout. In the inaugural season, the league was based in Burbank, California which made it easier for multiple matches to be played in one day.
In response to fans, Blizzard has confirmed that next season’s schedules will be made with travel in mind. There are two divisions – Atlantic and Pacific – with ten teams in each. It’s meant to reflect traditional sports and their conferences. This also means that we will see more matches between teams who are geographically closer to each other such as Vancouver and Toronto rather than perhaps the Los Angeles Gladiators and New York Excelsior. Doing this will also allow for less player burnout and hopefully eases the minds of some of Overwatch League’s worried fans.
However, there are matches taking place outside of the Blizzard Arena this season. The hosts will include the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign, and Los Angeles Valiant. Eight teams will be in attendance each weekend. The matches begin with the Fuel on April 27-28, then the Reign on July 6-7, and will conclude with the Valiant on August 24 -25. Any details on where the matches are and how to get tickets can be found from each team individually on their websites.