A New Viewer’s Guide to the Overwatch League

Everything you need to know to understand what's happening in OWL Grand Finals

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Image via Activision Blizzard Entertainment.

The Overwatch Grand Finals are here, and it’s a great time to dive headfirst into the world of Overwatch esports. But for those who aren’t familiar with esports or Overwatch, it can be an intimidating first step. But this guide is here to make things a little more accessible.

The Overwatch League is an international esports league that is made of 20 teams, each featuring the best players in the world. The 2022 season began on May 5, and it will conclude with the Grand Finals.

What is the Seasonal Format for the Overwatch League?

During the normal season, there are four tournament cycles:

  • The Kickoff Clash (regional competition),
  • Midseason Madness (global),
  • Summer Showdown (regional competition), and
  • Countdown Cup (global).

Each competing team will play six qualifier matches in each cycle to determine seeding for each of the culminating tournaments. Seeding, for those who aren’t up to date on sports terms, is a way to determine a team’s preliminary ranking. Those teams are then “planted” in brackets, which ensures that the best teams don’t knock each other out in the first few rounds.

Related: How to get Viewership Awards for Overwatch League

Teams qualify for tournaments, and for the 2022 playoff, based on their total League Points. Teams earn League Points by performing well in qualifier matches and tournaments. For every qualifier match win, or for appearing in a tournament, a team receives 1 League Point.

The second-place winner of the tournament will receive 2 total League Points, while the champion will receive 3.

There are a grand total of 21 weeks of competition, but the goal is to make it to playoffs.

Game Day Format for Overwatch League Grand Finals

So, here’s what you really need to know for tonight.

This year, 12 teams made it into the Overwatch League Playoffs:

  • Atlanta Reign,
  • Dallas Fuel
  • Florida Mayhem,
  • Hangzhou Spark,
  • London Spitfire,
  • Los Angeles Gladiators,
  • San Francisco Shock,
  • Seoul Dynasty,
  • Shanghai Dragons,
  • The Houston Outlaws, and
  • Toronto Defiant

As of November 4, only Houston Outlaws, San Francisco Shock, and Dallas Fuel are left, with Dallas Fuel being guaranteed a spot in the Grand Final, premiering at 10:00 pm PST.

Tonight, the last remaining teams will go head-to-head on a series of different maps and game modes. A team earns one point if they win the map. The game modes you can expect to see are control, push, hybrid, and escort. Who will win will be determined by who is the first to 4 points. A map is “won” by a team who was able to control the point for the longest or push the payload or robot the farthest.

There are seven possible maps that each team can play, but no Final has ever seen all seven maps played.

Beyond that, there’s nothing else you need to do other than lean back and enjoy the games! The playoffs have been fantastic so far, and with three skilled teams in the Finals, we’re sure to get a great game.

What is the Overwatch League Grand Final Prize Pool?

This year, the Overwatch League’s prize pool is 2.5 million dollars, with first place taking home $1 million of that. While these might not be DOTA numbers, they’re certainly life-changing.


About the Author

Daphne Fama

A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms