The closed beta release of Overwatch 2 has taken the FPS community by storm, capturing the attention of gaming audiences all over the world. Activision Blizzard's sequel to their 2016 Hero shooter title of the same name was one of the most highly anticipated games of 2022.
With its first beta version already available to the limited public, it won't be long before the game replaces its predecessor.
Following the release of Overwatch in 2016, Blizzard introduced the Overwatch League (OWL), a venue for the game's playerbase to compete in a professional setting. OWL's fifth season is set to kick off on May 5, as 20 teams from all over the world will compete for the championship.
While each season of OWL has been unique in its own way, this upcoming season will be the first time we will witness professionals compete in Overwatch 2. With a substantial set of changes being introduced, and with the game replacing its predecessor, we are yet to see how things will pan out in OWL's 2022 season.
What is the future of Overwatch League (OWL) after the release of Overwatch 2 closed beta?
The entire Overwatch playerbase is excited for their favorite pros to compete in the 2022 season of OWL. However, are the players ready to handle the shift in the game's dynamics?
Overwatch 2 introduced a variety of changes to the game, altering one of its fundamental aspects, the PvP mode. The 6v6 battles that defined the game will no longer continue in its sequel, as a 5v5 mode has come into place.
Additional changes to the game's ecosystem include map and Hero redesigns, and improvements in graphics and sound effects.
Each Hero class, namely Tank, Support and Damage, has been given an additional passive ability in the sequel. Several Heroes underwent massive changes in their abilities as well, with Doomfist being subjected to a change in roles.
Professionals in the OWL were given the opportunity to try out the game as early as mid-2021. However, some of the changes in the closed beta were introduced much later, based on the results of the game's alpha testing.
The change in team composition resulted in a change in tournament rules as well. For the upcoming season of OWL, the minimum number of players on the team will be lowered from seven to six, whereas the maximum limit remains the same (12).
Teams will play on an early build of the game which features the updates that were introduced to them early on. A total of 20 teams will compete in the regular season, four standalone tournaments and the playoffs to determine the season's champions.
The tournament will follow the same format as last year. Seven teams from regions of China and South Korea will compete in the East region, whereas the remaining 13 slots will be occupied by teams from North America and Europe, as they fight it out in the West region.
Live events for the OWL will also return for the season, after the previous two seasons were hindered by Covid-19 regulations.
Although the game's audience is hyped up for the return of the OWL, we will have to wait for the season to commence to find out how the pros react to playing the latest edition of the game on the grand stage.
Additionally, gaming enthusiasts who are yet to get their hands on the closed beta version will have another opportunity to redeem the game. A second set of beta key drops has been confirmed, which will be available through the official OWL streams scheduled to start on May 5.