Blizzard has unveiled the Overwatch League schedule for 2019, which will begin where the 2018 season left off: With a rematch between Grand Finals competitors London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion. The new season will feature a reduced schedule of 28 matches per team instead of 40, and an increased prize pool of $5 million, up from $3.5 million in 2018.
The 2019 season will be broken down into four stages of five weeks each, with playoffs capping each of the first three stages. Stage playoff winners will earn $200,000, second place will take $100,000, then $50,000 each for third and fourth, and $25,000 each for fifth through eighth.
The 2019 championship team will claim a $1.1 million grand prize (up from a flat $1 million in 2018), followed by $600,000 for second place, $450,000 for third, $350,000 for fourth, $300,000 each for fifth and sixth, and $200,000 apiece for the seventh and eighth-place finishers.
2019 will also see events held away from the Blizzard Arena for the first time, beginning with the Dallas Fuel, which will host a home event over April 27-28 that will be attended by the Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Paris Eternal, Los Angeles Valiant, and Seoul Dynasty.
After that The Atlanta Reign will host its own event over July 6-7 with the Florida Mayhem, Guangzhou Charge, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons, Toronto Defiant, and Washington Justice.
And on August 24-25 the Los Angeles Valiant will host the Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Gladiators, New York Excelsior, Vancouver Titans, San Francisco Shock, and Shanghai Dragons for its debut home event.
Along with the usual Overwatch League livestreams, a selection of matches will also be broadcast on television, on “the ESPN/Disney XD/ABC family of networks.” Opening weekend broadcasts will cover matches between the Hangzhou Spark and Shanghai Dragons, the Houston Outlaws and Boston Uprising, and the Philadelphia Fusion and Atlanta Reign. Broadcast schedules for later matches will be posted soon.