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Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: Spring 2016

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'Overwatch' (ALL) League Summer Showdown Tournament Begins This Weekend, Hero Pool Updates

by Rainier on June 9, 2020 @ 8:25 a.m. PDT

Overwatch is a pick-up-and-play 6v6 team-based shooter set on a near-future earth, featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe.

The action of Overwatch. takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch. brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

While each hero represents a formidable force on their own, players can amplify their potential by assembling into a well-balanced team and creatively combining powers. No matter which hero or playstyle they prefer, players will be able to team up and accomplish the incredible in Overwatch.

As players compete in matches—win or lose—they’ll level up and earn Loot Boxes, each containing a combination of four items players can use to customize their heroes, including in-game credits and cosmetic goodies including skins, sprays, voice lines, and new animations. Among these items are legendary skins that dramatically alter heroes’ appearances, such as the post-apocalyptic Scavenger D.Va, or Lone Wolf Hanzo, which fills Overwatch’s expert bowman with the spirit of the wild.

The Overwatch League today announced its Summer Showdown, a tournament that will run over the next four weeks of its season. The new tournament is very similar to last month’s successful May Melee, which was well-received by fans, teams, and players.

Beginning June 13 and running through the last three weeks of June, all 20 teams will play qualifier matches (three per team in North America and four in Asia). Team records, map scores, and standard tiebreakers in those qualifier matches will determine team seeding in two regional tournaments in North America (July 3-5) and Asia (July 4-5).  The schedule for all qualifiers matches – which count toward the regular season standings – is available online here.

Both tournaments have a combined US $275,000 prize pool. For more information on the structure of the tournaments, including rules and brackets for each, visit the official Overwatch League website.

After the Summer Showdown, there will be a final tournament in a similar format, with qualifier matches and bracket play in Asia and North America. This will be followed by balancing matches to get all teams to 21 matches played before playoffs begin. The 2020 playoffs, like the tournaments, will be played without a Hero Pool. More details on 2020 playoffs and Grand Finals will be announced later this summer.

In order to make it easier for teams to prepare for tournaments and the rest of the season, the Overwatch League is making some changes to the Hero Pools system. A single Hero Pool will be determined before the start of June matches and will remain in effect for Weeks 19 and 20 of the qualifier matches. D.Va, Echo, Sombra, and Brigitte will not be available for those weeks.

Week 21 will be the same as the tournaments, with no Hero Pool. The same format will be used for the final tournament. The final two weeks of the regular-season schedule will also operate under a single Hero Pool. Overwatch Contenders will utilize the same Hero Pool as the Overwatch League. For information on changes to Hero Pools in Competitive Play, visit the official Overwatch website.

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