After an entire season of completely virtual performances, the Overwatch League will be holding a few live events in China throughout the 2021 season.
The OWL revealed today that it’s actively been observing current global circumstances regarding COVID and has worked with Chinese officials “to reintroduce offline competition while still prioritizing the safety of our players, fans, and staff.”
These LAN matches will be held during three of the four tournaments scheduled to take place throughout the season. From June 4 to 6, the Hangzhou Spark will host fans for the June Joust. From July 9 to 11, the Shanghai Dragons will welcome fans back to the Summer Showdown. And from Aug. 7 to 8, the Guangzhou Charge will host fans for the Countdown Cup, right before the OWL Playoffs and marking the end of playoff qualification.
The OWL also said that the five China-based teams—the Hunters, Charge, Spark, Valiant, and Dragons—will travel to compete in these events on stage. But this may change if COVID protocols don’t allow for in-person events. The three Korea-based teams—the NYXL, Fusion, and Dynasty—won’t be traveling to compete in-person and will be competing entirely remotely.
More details regarding tickets and venues will be revealed in the near future. All plans for live events may be altered if global circumstances worsen and don’t allow for the safety of in-person play.
Fans can look forward to the Overwatch League returning for its 2021 season on April 16. The week one schedule features several brawls between the biggest teams in the league.