Blizzard Launches Overwatch Championship Series

23 Jan 2024
Tit Krajnik 23 Jan 2024
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  • On Tuesday, January 23, Blizzard announced the Overwatch Championship Series
  • OWCS will be a successor to the Overwatch League
  • The new project is a product of a deal between ESL FACEIT Group and Blizzard
Overwatch Championship Series
Overwatch Championship Series (OWCS) (credit: via Twitter (@DreamHack))
Game developer Blizzard Entertainment has partnered with an esports tournament operator, ESL FACEIT Group, to form the Overwatch Championship Series (OWCS). The OWCS will replace the Overwatch League as the primary Overwatch esports league and is set to kick off in 2024.

As confirmed, the Overwatch Championship Series (OWCS) will have open tournament circuits in North America and EMEA region, as well as LAN competitions at DreamHack events. To make the project happen, ESL FACEIT Group will incorporate Overwatch 2 on the FACEIT platform.

Overwatch Championship Series Replaces The Overwatch League

The news of the formation of the Overwatch Championship Series comes after the Overwatch League was shut down in late 2023 when the teams decided to exit the league due to low revenue and sliding viewership. However, it didn’t take long for Blizzard to find a solution for the Overwatch 2 esports scene.

As already reported in 2023, Blizzard was in talks with a third-party tournament operator to keep the Overwatch 2 esports ecosystem going, but it wasn’t until today that more details of the project were unveiled.

The new Overwatch 2 esports circuit will use a more traditional format which aims to be global, open and “always on”. This is a step away from the former Overwatch League, which adopted a franchise model, where the teams had to purchase a slot for up to $20 million.

The OWC will instead be open to players from Asia, EMEA, and the North American region. The Asian competitions will be operated and organised by a Korean esports tournament organiser, WDG.

Each region will have its own set of open qualifiers and events, all feeding into large tournaments, which will take place at DreamHack events.

The first big LAN event of the Overwatch Championship Series 2024 season will take place in May and June, with the Overwatch Championship Series World Finals set to take place at DreamHack Stockholm.

Changed Format

The Overwatch Championship Series will use a new competitive format, which indicates a more international circuit compared to the Overwatch League. The latter was primarily focused on the North American region and the franchise model.

The newly introduced OWCS will instead offer more path-to-pro opportunities, especially since Overwatch 2 esports will be added to the FACEIT platform. Moreover, FACEIT Group plans to have a consistent schedule of events and competitions for Overwatch 2 players to engage in.