Overwatch League to host PTR exhibition matches March 22

While this weekend's official games are canceled, teams are still showing up for some entertainment.

Photo by Carlton Beener for Activision Blizzard Entertainment

Fans might be missing official Overwatch League gameplay this weekend, but they’ll still get something fun to watch. Due to a California “stay at home” order related to the coronavirus, four matches originally scheduled for this weekend were postponed.

To make it up to fans, four Pacific Overwatch League teams will be participating in a set of exhibition matches on March 22. The two matches will take place on Overwatch’s Public Test Realm (PTR) so that professional players can try out the game’s newest hero, Echo.

At 3pm CT on March 22, reigning champions the San Francisco Shock will take on the Seoul Dynasty. The Los Angeles Valiant and Los Angeles Gladiators will have a PTR version of the “Battle for LA” at 5pm CT. Casters Mitch “UberShouts” Leslie and Matt “Mr. X” Morello will be providing commentary.   

The lineups reflect the original matches that were supposed to take place March 21. Matches were postponed this weekend due to the safety of Overwatch League players and staff battling COVID-19, or what’s commonly referred to as the coronavirus. While California’s “safer at home” order would prevent players and staff from traveling to studios or full production outlets, it certainly doesn’t stop them from playing fun matches using the game’s online system. 

This set of exhibition matches will not count towards any official standing within the Overwatch League. Damage dealers on all teams will get to experiment with the game’s newest hero, Echo, in a professional setting. Team compositions built around the hero have yet to be seen, so players will have to get creative. Expect flexible DPS players like 2019 MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won of the San Francisco Shock and Christ “MirroR” Trinh of the Los Angeles Gladiators to pick up the new projectile hero. 

The exhibition matches will be broadcast on the Overwatch League’s YouTube channel. Regular season matches are expected to resume in an online tournament format on March 28.