The playoffs will get underway on September 5 and are expected to level the playing field for all teams
The updated format for the 2020 Overwatch League (OWL) playoffs has finally been announced, and all 20 teams in the OWL are getting a fair chance to qualify for postseason play. There will be a separate tournament for the Asia and North America region and the seeding will be based on league standings. Also, the seeding will depend on the results of three tournaments: May Melee, the Summer Showdown and the Countdown Cup.
The first part of the series will begin on September 3 when the lowest seeds face each other in a bracket with a single-elimination play-in. This will qualify the best teams for their respective playoff tournaments. The next level is a double-elimination play that will continue on September 5 and will host competitions between the play-in teams and teams with higher seeds in their regions. Following that, the best four teams that are remaining from the winners and losers brackets – two teams each from North America and Asia – will face each other in the online grand finals in Asia to fight for the 2020 season title.
Both qualified teams from the North America bracket will be flown to South Korea – keeping strict health restrictions and quarantine/self-isolation procedures – with enough time to be ready to play the online finals against the two qualified teams from the Asian region while following the recommended precautions. Teams in China and South Korea already have experienced playing online from their team houses in both countries while playing in the Asia bracket.
According to Senior Manager Of Competition Operations For The League Adam Mierzejewski, the most important aspect that has been the cause of back and forth discussion among organizers is how to define the ultimate winner while having teams from both regions in the same country, but in a way that could be safe for everyone. “We think it’s right due to the known and ongoing changes that COVID has presented to us that going into a LAN environment is too much of a risk that’s not worth taking,” said Mierzejewski about running an online event from their own houses but while they are in the same country.