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The Overwatch League 2022 Countdown Cup qualifiers are starting soon, with this being the final stage before the season playoffs live in Anaheim. With this new stage, some slight changes are coming to the meta, thanks to the 126.96.36.199 patch specific to the league. Plus, this patch will stretch through the play-ins, with the official season playoff matches on a new patch with new support hero Kiriko.
The only thing standing between #OWL2022 teams and the Grand Finals trophy is the Countdown Cup
Here's everything you need to know 👇 pic.twitter.com/UXbOVrjytO
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 21, 2022
New patch, new changes
As of right now, the new patch for the Countdown Cup and play-ins will be public as the qualifiers begin. What we do know about them is that it is a modified version of the patch that the team revealed will be arriving on the game’s launch, on Oct. 4. On top of that, an earlier tweet from Overwatch 2 developer Aaron Keller and a quote tweet from Overwatch League head Sean Miller confirmed that Junker Queen nerfs will be the focus for the Countdown Cup patch.
So grateful for @aaronkellerOW and the game team who not only works with us on things like balance changes, but also a million other bts things few know about.
The changes will be rolled out after Summer Showdown as we don't usually like moving the goalpost mid-tournament 👍 https://t.co/29WWSD5HLr
— Sean Miller (@sean_mmills) August 21, 2022
Regarding other hero changes, the developer blog includes changes to Orisa, D.Va, Baptiste, Brigitte, Mercy, Bastion, Reaper, Sojourn and Sombra. Plus, updated role passives include buffs to the DPS role, with a reload speed and movement speed buff on eliminations. Whether all of these changes slated for Oct. 4 are also part of this Countdown Cup patch, we’ll have to see when the 2022 Countdown Cup qualifiers start.
As for league tokens, the league has added more tokens to fans who use the Overwatch League pick’em website. Picking the right victors will award fans with three extra league tokens. And, for the play-ins, watching five hours will award fans with the Zarya Overwatch League home and away skins.
Regional online tournaments for the play-ins
Lastly, the 2022 Countdown Cup qualifiers will lead to two regional online playoff tournaments. This will be the first time in 2022 that both regions will have regional online tournaments without travel, with it not having a stage champion like the previous stages. The stage tournament is the play-ins for the season playoffs, so the teams are aiming to improve their season seeding to either qualify directly into the season playoffs or to the play-ins. This tournament will start on Oct. 15.
For the Eastern division, the top three seeded teams automatically make it to the season playoffs. Then, seeds 4-6 will fight in the play-ins. A single-elimination bracket determines one more Eastern team to make it to the playoffs. As for the Western division, seeds 1-6 make it directly into the playoffs. Then, seeds 7-10 will fight in the play-in tournament. For the West, the double-elimination bracket will lead to two teams making it into the season playoffs. This tournament will start on Oct. 21-22.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.