Overwatch League just made public its plan to restore live esports events in China for its 2021 season. OWL has worked with Chinese authorities to make it possible for fans to enjoy live esports again.
They are clearly not going to represent the majority of Overwatch League play but it is still a step towards reintroducing esports to stadiums and arenas. After more than a year of an online format, despite its advantages and drawbacks, OWL is finally coming back to its roots.
Live Events in China
Three events are planned to take place live from June to August. So, all remaining China-based teams will travel to the home of the host squad. It all starts with the June Joust, which will be hosted by the Hangzhou Spark.
We’re doing (some of it) live!
There will be three live events in China this season for #OWL2021
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) April 14, 2021
Then, the Shanghai Dragons will be responsible for the Summer Showdown between July 9 and 11. Finally, the Countdown Cup happens at the Guangzhou Charge’s home arena. It is also the final live event and competition before the Overwatch League Playoffs. Unfortunately, the remaining teams in Los Angeles Valiant and Chengdu Hunters do not get to host a tournament.
Overwatch League 2021
Even though these tournaments are live events, they can change at any point in time. If a new pandemic wave hits China again, COVID-19 protocols may cancel events. Of course, the Overwatch League and China do not intend to sacrifice their fans’ health. Their priority is “to reintroduce offline competition while still prioritizing the safety of our players, fans, and staff.”
Korean-based teams, like Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion, and New York Excelsior, will only perform remotely, due to how hard it is to enter and leave the country. Fans do not really know yet when to expect ticket sales, but they look forward to seeing their favorite players on stage once again. They can tune in to the official start of the 2021 Overwatch League season on April 16.
Written by Charles FUSTER
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