Blizzard announces the Overwatch Champions Series

by Danny Craig  · 
Blizzard announces the Overwatch Champions Series
Blizzard Entertainment

Following the conclusion of the Overwatch League, Blizzard has announced the future of Overwatch esports by establishing the Overwatch Champions Series in partnership with ESL FACEIT.

The details:

  • Blizzard's Overwatch League ended after its 2023 season when the majority of the owners of the league's 12 city-based franchise teams voted to leave. It has now been confirmed that the Saudi-owned ESL FACEIT Group has founded the Overwatch Champions Series, or OWCS, to usher in a "new era of Overwatch 2 esports".

  • The OWCS will feature an "open and inclusive competitive ecosystem" in which all professional and amateur teams can qualify for the big leagues, a significant departure from the closed-off OWL. EFG will run the circuit in North America (NA) and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), with Korean organizer WDG running the Asian circuit.

  • The top teams from each region will be invited to participate in LAN tournaments at EFG's DreamHack festivals, with the season's world finals taking place at DreamHack Stockholm in November. The FACEIT platform will also enable third-party organizers to host Overwatch tournaments outside of the OWCS.

  • With the collapse of the OWL and the move to an open circuit with the OWCS, Call of Duty fans are suspecting that the Call of Duty League will also end soon. The CDL, which uses a similar city-based franchise model to the OWL, has struggled financially and in terms of viewership since its inception in 2019, so OWCS is thought to be a "test run" for Activision and Microsoft's other esports.

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