The Overwatch League has announced format changes for the 2019 season. The league, which is now home to 20 teams, is set to begin again on Thursday, February 14.
The season will once again be broken down into four stages of five weeks long each, however teams will not be playing at the same frequency as they did last season. Each team will only play seven matches a stage for a grand total of 28 matches throughout the season. Teams will play as many as two matches a week and as few as zero matches other weeks.
Stage playoffs will return, but only for Stages 1, 2 and 3. Eight teams will play in the stage playoffs, with the two highest seeds going to the top team in each division. The other six teams will be seeded by record.
Eight teams will also play in the playoffs to end the Overwatch League season, however only the top six teams will automatically advance to the playoffs. The teams ranked seventh through 12th in the overall standings will participate in a play-in tournament at the end of Stage 4 to fill out the final two teams to make the Overwatch League postseason.
The Overwatch League's All-Star Weekend will no longer follow the end of the season. It will now take place in between Stage 2 and Stage 3. The break between Stages 2 and 3 will be extended as a result.
Divisions for next season were also announced. The league will remain divided by Atlantic and Pacific teams, with each division inheriting four expansion franchises. The divisions are divided as follows:
- Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #10
- Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #12
- Chengdu Hunters Chengdu Hunters OWL Rank #20
- Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #13
- Guangzhou Charge Guangzhou Charge OWL Rank #17
- San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #7
- Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #6
- Los Angeles Valiant Los Angeles Valiant OWL Rank #3
- Dallas Fuel Dallas Fuel OWL Rank #9
- Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans OWL Rank #14
- London Spitfire London Spitfire OWL Rank #1
- Paris Eternal Paris Eternal OWL Rank #18
- Washington Justice Washington Justice OWL Rank #19
- New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #2
- Boston Uprising Boston Uprising OWL Rank #5
- Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #16
- Florida Mayhem Florida Mayhem OWL Rank #11
- Philadelphia Fusion Philadelphia Fusion OWL Rank #4
- Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #8
- Toronto Defiant Toronto Defiant OWL Rank #15
The Overwatch League has yet to announce match times for next season or a full schedule.