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Overwatch League: Informationen zu der Saison im Jahr 2021

Um ihre wartenden Fans über den Ablauf der im April 2021 startenden Saison der Overwatch League zu informieren und sie auf geplante Verbesserungen an der Struktur dieser Wettkampfphase hinzuweisen, veröffentlichten die Betreiber dieser eSports-Liga vor einigen Tagen einen informativen Blogeintrag auf ihrer offiziellen Internetseite.

Teaser Bild von Overwatch League: Informationen zu der Saison im Jahr 2021
Teaser Bild von Overwatch League: Informationen zu der Saison im Jahr 2021

Aus diesem Beitrag geht unter anderem hervor, dass sie Verantwortlichen im Jahr 2021 zwar gerne wieder Events mit live anwesenden Fans veranstalten möchten, aber diese Option je nach Zustand der Welt und notwendigen Sicherheitsbestimmungen nicht unbedingt geboten ist. Aus diesem Grund wird die Saison dem Vorbild der vergangenen Monate folgen und die Teams der Overwatch League durch die Verwendung ihrer neuen Technologie für eine minimale Latenz komplett online gegeneinander antreten lassen. Was den Aufbau der eigentlichen Saison betrifft, so basiert das Ganze erneut auf vier unterschiedlichen Turnieren. Die teilnehmenden Teams werden vor jedem Turnier vier Qualifikationsmatches austragen, um Positionen für das folgende Turnier zu bestimmen. Zusätzlich dazu sind die Teams auch dieses Mal wieder in die beiden Gruppen West und East aufgeteilt. Die normalen Qualifikationsmatches basieren auf den Wettkämpfen in diesen beiden regionalen Gruppen. Darauf folgen am Ende dann die üblichen Playoffs und die Finalrunden der Saison. Da die Fans der Liga aber auch möglichst viele Matches außerhalb dieser beiden Gruppen sehen möchten, wollten die Verantwortlichen sich im Jahr 2021 stärker auf den globalen Wettkampf zwischen Teams konzentrieren. Die Verantwortlichen testen aus diesem Grund aktuell mehrere mögliche Pläne für Events in diesem Bereich. Die im Moment wahrscheinlichste Taktik läuft darauf hinaus, dass die besten qualifizierten Teams aus West nach Hawaii reisen und von dort aus gegen die besten Teams aus East antreten. Des Weiteren erreicht die Overwatch League in dieser Saison ihr zweites Jahr der Partnerschaft mit YouTube. Auch wenn die Verantwortlichen noch keine Details nennen dürfen, so arbeiten sie aktuell aber scheinbar an mehreren Verbesserungen für die Livestreams der Liga. Erwähnt wurden bisher bessere Belohnungen für das Anschauen der Livestreams und leichtere Wege zum Entdecken des Contents. Das Team arbeitet zusätzlich dazu auch noch an neuen Grafiken, einem verbesserten virtuellen Sets, Anpassungen am Format der Shows, einem spoilerfreien Zuschauermodus und Möglichkeiten zum Folgen von Teams aus der anderen Region. Weitere Informationen zu der Overwatch League im Jahr 2021 findet ihr in dem folgenden Beitrag.

Overwatch League Community Update: 2021 Season Structure Happy New Year Overwatch League fans! I’m Jon Spector from the Overwatch League team. I’m here today to share some more details about our 2021 season. We learned a lot last season while operating in the pandemic environment, and considering those challenges as well as the continued need for teams to play from around the globe this season, we’ve made several changes aimed at improving the quality of competition and the fan experience for 2021. First off, let’s talk about the overall league format. Here’s how the Overwatch League will work when the season kicks off in April. Regular season play will be structured in four tournament cycles. Teams will play four qualifier matches each cycle to determine qualification into and seeding for each of the culminating tournaments. As with the 2020 Season, teams will be divided into two groups based on their location for the season: East and West. Regular season qualifier matches and tournament qualification will be based on competition within each group. The East includes the eight teams competing in China and South Korea: the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty. The West includes the twelve teams competing in Europe and North America: the Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Paris Eternal, San Francisco Shock, Vancouver Titans, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice. Last season, teams could only play within their regions, so fans didn’t get to see the top teams from each region competing against each other in the tournaments until the end of the 2020 playoffs. While we continue to operate in an uncertain and constantly changing environment during the pandemic, our goal is to run the 2021 tournaments with global competition. We are exploring a few different options to facilitate this global competition, but our current leading approach is to have the top qualifying teams from the West travel to Hawaii, where they will play against the top qualifying teams from the East via a directly-routed connection from Hawaii to Asia. If necessary, though, due to changing health, safety, and travel conditions, we will be prepared to quickly pivot back to a regional tournaments model. We also hope to welcome fans back to live events if health and safety conditions improve in 2021, but that might not happen, and it might not be at every location where teams compete as conditions may differ significantly in different parts of the world. Our top priority remains to keep our players, fans, and staff safe. Regardless of where teams are located, we will be utilizing the minimum latency technology now available in Overwatch, so Overwatch League teams will be competing on a level playing field from all over the world—in North America, Europe, Korea, and China. New server deployments will also help us keep the competition fair. Our team is hard at work on all the other details around competition and developing the match schedule for the season. We’ll share all of that info as we get closer to the start of the season. As we prepare for the 2021 season, we have also been working hard to deliver improved fan experiences. Entering the second year of our partnership with YouTube, we have been working very closely on several initiatives that I am really excited about. We can’t reveal too many specifics yet, but we plan to level up the quality of our match streams, add even more value to watching live matches through our viewership rewards program, and improve the discoverability of live Overwatch content. We’re also working on improvements to our match broadcasts such as a new and improved virtual set, a freshly redesigned graphics package, and changes to our show format that place even more emphasis on match play. We’ll have more to share on this later too. Our digital fan experiences are also getting some upgrades. As we know that many fans want to follow teams competing on the other side of the world, we’re working on a much-requested spoiler-free viewer mode for OverwatchLeague.com. I’m also excited about new integrations with partners like IBM that are going to significantly enhance the way our fans interact with players, teams, and stats. In advance of our season starting, we hope you join us for some fun offseason events as well. We just announced our Kanezaka Community Tournament with signups open now. On February 19-20 at BlizzConline, we will air a very special San Francisco Shock vs. the World competition. And we are planning some cool stuff for March that we’ll share soon. Stay tuned for more info on these events and more updates on the 2021 Overwatch League season, including competition specifics and our complete 2021 regular season schedule. For more Overwatch League updates follow us on Twitter,  Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.