Overwatch League: Blizzard Allegedly Shifting Competition Format To Monthly Tournaments

Overwatch League: Blizzard Allegedly Shifting Competition Format To Monthly Tournaments
Credit: PlayOverwatch via YouTube

It’s not exactly a surprise to fans that have been following it that the Overwatch League has struggled somewhat in season 3. Various forms of hero banning have come and gone in an attempt to control heroes as the title struggles with power creep with every new hero introduced, and COVID-19 has been a massive thorn in the side of Blizzard as they shift matches, again and again, to stay ahead of the curve.

Then May happened with something new, that saw viewers skyrocket well past what had become the norm for the precarious season 3.

With the May Melee, Blizzard offered a honed-in scope of play and storylines between the teams which developed rapidly and were executed within days, if not hours. This, combined with Blizzard opting to remove hero pools entirely for the duration of the tourney resulted in multiple brilliant compositions and moments that played out over a three-day final that saw nearly 30 hours of Overwatch League over a weekend.

Some critics of the hero ban system stated that the May Melee success proves that hero bans (or pools) are a horrible idea for the League and Overwatch as a whole, although Chris ‘Huk’ Loranger (President of Gaming for the Boston Uprising) directly contradicted these critics, stating that the wide array for hero pools resulted directly in teams knowing off-meta picks and strategies that drastically opened the scope of play and counter-play within matches.

Across the board, however, the sentiment was matched; the May Melee structure was far better than the seemingly disheveled tournament approach that lasted for months on end.

Allegedly, there’s good news on that front coming from an email that a Boston Uprising fan club sent out to their supports that has been confirmed from various other sources.

The Overwatch League is coming back starting on June 13, and they’re going to adopt the monthly tournament structure that the May Melee blazed the trail on.

This brings Overwatch League more inline with other major sports such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, although Blizzard still has all of the rights to broadcasting and crafting tourneys versus Valve’s more ‘hands-off’ approach.

As in other sports, monthly tourneys can lead to player burn-out, which Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is actively struggling against, with one of the most prestigious teams struggling to find members to round out their rosters.

Still, it’s difficult to deny that this is a step in the right direction, if nothing else. More focused tournaments encourage compact storylines, and viewership is rewarded more regularly by understanding the ongoing storylines; a feat that the Overwatch League has struggled with in Season 3. The finer details of the tournament are slated to be released sometime this coming week.