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Overwatch League details vision for revamped season schedule

The Overwatch League esports competition has released more details on its planned home-and-away format for its 2020 season, with each franchise to host two-to-five “homestand weekends”.

In 2020, the league’s Pacific and Atlantic Divisions will become the Pacific and Atlantic Conferences and split into four divisions: Atlantic North, Atlantic South, Pacific East and Pacific West. The league said that it divided its teams into Atlantic and Pacific Divisions when launching to “prepare for this evolution”.

The Atlantic Conference North Division will feature Boston Uprising, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal and Toronto Defiant, with the South Division comprising Atlanta Reign, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, Philadelphia Fusion and Washington Justice.

The Pacific Conference East Division will be made up of Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty, while the West Division will feature Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Valiant, Los Angeles Gladiators, San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans.

Next year, 52 homestand weekend events will be held around the world, with each team to host two homestands. Teams in each division will also host three additional regular-season events in their home territories.

The season will begin in February next year and run through until August, with teams to play 28 matches over the course of the regular season. Teams will play franchises from their own conferences twice, and franchises from other conferences once. Matches will be played on weekends at locally-optimised times.

A mid-season All-Stars event will be held but the league confirmed its season will no longer be split into stages. The full schedule is due to be released next month.

The 2019 season has seen the league experiment with home and away matches, with Dallas and Atlanta having staged sold-out events and a further meet scheduled for Los Angeles on August 24-25. To date, the vast majority of Overwatch League matches have been held in Burbank, California at Blizzard Arena.