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The 2019 season of the Overwatch League kicked off last Friday. Taking a page from the NFL playbook, the second ever season began with a Grand Finals rematch between the Philadelphia Fusion and the first season champs, London Spitfire.
The regular season will run through August. You can find the full schedule here.
This season the prize pool has been greatly expanded from $3.5 million to $5 million. The league itself has also been expanded, adding eight new teams, including three from China and two from the US. The new teams are: Atlanta Reign, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Washington Justice, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Vancouver Titans.
The teams are still divided between the Atlantic and Pacific Division. The Atlantic Division includes the Eastern US and Canada, and Europe, while Pacific includes Western US and Asian teams.
Every match can be viewed via Twitch.tv, the official Overwatch League website, the MLG app, and Battle.net. Additionally all 2019 matches will be streamed to the ESPN app. Three matches per week will also be broadcast to Disney XD.
“We set a new bar last season in standing up the first major global city-based esports league,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “This season, we’re going to raise the bar again with a focus on fan affinity, making it even easier for the Overwatch League community to watch how they want and where they want.”
Though the Overwatch League features location-based esports teams, the arenas are still mostly under construction. The majority of the matches for the 2019 season will still be played at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. However, this year the league will feature several Homestand Weekends.
The Homestand Weekend events will take place April 27-28 at Dallas, TX, July 6-9 in Atlanta, GA, and August 24-25 in Los Angeles, CA.
If you’re staring down the barrel of a week-long holiday this Thanksgiving, Blizzard has at least one suggestion. Overwatch will be free to play beginning November 20 until November 26 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The Overwatch Free Trial includes access to four game modes, all 19 maps, and all 29 heroes, including the recently added gunslinger Ashe. New Accounts will be able to level up, earn loot boxes and gain new skins, sprays, poses and other rewards.
Since progress is tied to your account, any progress made during the free trial will carry over if you decided to purchase Overwatch after the free trial period has ended. Trophies and achievements are disabled during the free trial, however.
Note that playing Overwatch on consoles requires Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
For players who link their Twitch and Blizzard accounts, you can earn special limited Ashe-themed sprays during the free trial period.
To access Overwatch on PC during the free trial you’ll need to download the Blizzard Battle.net app, create a Blizzard account, and install the game. For PlayStation and Xbox, simply search for Overwatch in their respective stores and download the Free Trial version.
Console players will be able to pre-load the Overwatch Free Trial now.
The Overwatch Free Trial begins Nov. 20 at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern.