The long-awaited Overwatch League kicked off and started their regular season today with three games of Blizzard’s premier esport. With over a year in the making, fans all over the world tuned in to watch with anticipation.
In fact, the Overwatch League Twitch channel broke the record for most concurrent viewers, surpassing Tyler1’s 370 thousand viewers, which he himself set just a few days prior, in his return to streaming League of Legends. At its peak, over 441 thousand viewers across three streams were tuned in to the opening day of OWL, while maintaining a steady 300 thousand throughout the six-hour broadcast.
The Overwatch League regular season is split up into four stages, with each stage lasting five weeks. The end of each stage greets winners with a prize pool of $125,000. The overall League champions take home a neat $1,000,000.
Day 1 kicked off with two California teams facing off. LA Valiant made quick work of Shock in Dorado, the first map of the game. Valiant displayed stellar teamwork, timing key ultimates just right to make for effective attacks. Paired with great zone control, Valiant took the second map, Temple of Anubis, 4-3, and a 2-0 map lead.
The second half opened up with Control on Ilios, a map where Shock has won in the preseason. Their familiarity paid off with a win in the first round, but not before Valiant bounced back to win the map. With the victory, LA Valiant clinch the first match of Overwatch League history. Needless to say, the SoCal team took the last map, Numbani, to sweep the NoCal team clean 4-0.
In the first transcontinental match, the third Cali team, LA Gladiators, went up against the all-Chinese Shanghai Dragons. Like the first game, the Gladiators swept the first three maps, which were also Dorado, Temple of Anubis, and Ilios, to clinch the win. The fourth map, Eichenwalde also went in the way of LA.
It’s East vs West in the battle of the best Overwatch players as Day 1 comes to a close. The stacked and talented Dallas Fuel roster face off against the Koreans of Seoul Dynasty, three of whom were members of the Overwatch Cup winning team.
As expected, Seoul came out on top, but not without a fight. Dallas took Map 1, Junkertown, 3-2. Temple of Anubis saw the two bulls butt at each other back and forth, but in the end Seoul was able to overcome Dallas 6-5. While the second map was almost a stale mate, Seoul made quick work of Dallas in Ilios, where their unique compositions and signature aggressive playstyle earned them a quick 2-0 win. The last map, Numbani, ended up in a draw. Fuel’s individual plays matched up against the superior Dynasty macro game but all in all, Seoul takes the overall win 2-1.
Catch all the Overwatch action on their website, their Twitch channel, or on Major League Gaming. Tomorrow’s games starts at 8:00AM Philippine Standard Time, with the London Spitfire taking on Florida Mayhem, followed by Philadelphia Fusion facing off against the Houston Outlaws. The last game will see Boston Uprising play against New York Excelsior.