There is no denying that the Overwatch League is in a strange place right now, much like every other esport in the world. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic completely shook up Blizzard's plans for Season 3, which was supposed to see teams settle into their regional divisions, complete with road trips. But the publisher is rolling with these setbacks as best they can and has even lined up something potentially exciting out of the whole mess: a new League-wide tournament.
For the month of May, the Overwatch League will celebrate hitting the season's midpoint by holding a pair of 10-team tournaments where the whole league will compete for a combined $225,000 prize pool. The first three weeks will see the 13 North American teams (Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, Paris Eternal, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and Washington Justice) compete in qualifying matches. The seven Asian teams (Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty) are already qualified, with the higher seeds selecting their opponents. The qualifier matches for this tournament will also affect the overall Overwatch League standings, though the remainder of the tournament will not.
Here's how the tournament will be structured for North America:
And here's how the tournament will be structured for Asia:
All Hero Pools will be suspended for the full tournament, which should make this a rarity for competitive Overwatch. All gloves are off and both tournaments will start next week, with the Finals for both coming on May 24. The full schedule can be found on the Overwatch League website.