The Overwatch League™ returns to action today for the official start of the 2019 season. This season, 20 teams will compete for the league championship and a share of the US $5 million prize pool. The world’s first major global esports league with city-based teams will be even more fan-friendly, with more ways to watch via enhanced viewing technology through the Twitch All-Access Pass program, expanded broadcast and digital distribution, and a brand-new online shop loaded with team and player merchandise.
“We’ve added eight new teams and nearly 100 new players to the Overwatch League, and we’re really excited to see the influx of new talent and to see how teams approach the daunting task of winning the league championship,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner. “Look for the quality of play to rise as the league continues to get even more competitive. The talents of our extraordinary players are going to be on display for the world to see. Come watch with the best of us!”
The opening week of matches will feature all 20 teams in action and will include a rematch of the 2018 Grand Finals showdown between the Philadelphia Fusion and defending champion London Spitfire, as well as the debuts of all eight new Overwatch League teams.
Fans will be able to watch Overwatch League matches in a number of ways and in additional locations for 2019. Linear and digital broadcast platforms include:
- Overwatch League: All matches will be available on overwatchleague.com and the Overwatch League app, MLG.com and the MLG app (excluding matches on Saturday, Sunday, and other days which are exclusive to Twitch), Blizzard Battle.net, and Overwatch game-client viewers.
- Twitch: All 2019 Overwatch League matches will be available on Twitch platforms, including Twitch.tv, the Twitch mobile app, and Twitch apps on game consoles and TV devices. Working together with Twitch, the Overwatch League just launched a new and improved All-Access Pass membership. This year, All-Access passholders can customize their match-viewing experience with the multi-view Command Center, represent their favorite players with gear and skins, and engage more directly with Overwatch League players and the fan community.
- Twitter: Will host livestreaming of daily Watchpoint shows immediately before and after the match schedule on match days, as well as a selection of Overwatch League clips from live matches.
- China: All matches will be available on overwatchleague.cn and the Overwatch League app. Zhanqi.tv, NetEase CC, Bilibili, and Huya and will air matches on their respective branded platforms.
- France: Mediawan will show league highlights on the Mangas Network.
- Germany: Sport1 will air live matches on Esports1 and league highlights on Sport1.
- North America: All 2019 regular-season Overwatch League matches will be available to watch on the ESPN app. Three matches per week will air on Disney XD: the final match of each Thursday, which begins at 8:30 p.m. PST, as well as the first two matches each Sunday, which begin at noon and 1:30 p.m. PST. Select matches also will air on ABC and ESPN2. The Stage 1 and 2 Playoffs and the All-Star Game will air on ABC. ESPN2 will carry the Stage 3 Finals.
“We set a new bar last season in standing up the first major global city-based esports league,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “This season, we’re going to raise the bar again with a focus on fan affinity, making it even easier for the Overwatch League community to watch how they want and where they want.”