The seeding matches for the first tournament of the 2022 Overwatch League season are done, with both the east and west divisions heading to playoffs. Eight teams from the West will compete against each other live in Dallas, while four teams will compete in the East, all to determine the two OWL Kickoff Clash champions.
Unlike previous Overwatch League tournaments, there will be two separate champions, as the East and West will not face off against each other. The first global tournament will be the Midseason Madness in the next tournament.
IT'S #OWL2022 KICKOFF CLASH WEEK! ⚔️
We've got a packed week of matches, including West matches hosted LIVE from Dallas!
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) May 30, 2022
Starting with the OWL West, eight out of the thirteen teams qualified for the Kickoff Clash. Here are the teams, seeded according to their qualifier records:
- San Francisco Shock (6-0)
- Dallas Fuel (5-1)
- Los Angeles Gladiators (4-2)
- Florida Mayhem (4-2)
- Houston Outlaws (4-2)
- Toronto Defiant (4-2)
- Atlanta Reign (3-3)
- Washington Justice (3-3)
Plenty of exciting storylines have emerged from the west. The Shock had a relatively easy schedule but won every important series. The Dallas Fuel rebounded from a tough loss to the Outlaws to go undefeated afterwards.
Meanwhile, the Gladiators’ only losses were back-to-back reverse sweeps to the other leading teams. And while starting strong, both the Reign and Justice have tapered off, just squeaking into the competition over teams like the London Spitfire.
In the East, here are the four qualifying teams and their seeding:
- Hangzhou Spark (5-1)
- Shanghai Dragons (5-1)
- Seoul Dynasty (4-2)
- Philadelphia Fusion (3-3)
Most fans expected these four teams to make it to the playoffs, but the Spark’s rise to the top has been a bit of surprise. The Fusion, similarly to the Reign and Justice in the West, got off to a great start before tumbling down to the fourth spot. It’s also important to note that the last time we saw the Spark and the Dragons qualifying at the top of an OWL tournament, back during 2021’s June Joust, the Spark proceeded to collapse while the Dragons went far. That means it’s time to see whether history will repeat itself.
The Kickoff Clash bracket and schedules
There are two schedules and scenarios for the Kickoff Clash tournament thanks to the split east and west brackets. Starting with the west, all the qualified teams compete live at the Esports Stadium Arlington in Dallas, Texas. The top four teams got to pick their first opponents in the double-elimination tournament.
The number one seed Shock picked the Justice, the number two Fuel picked the Defiant, the Gladiators picked the Outlaws and the Mayhem were left facing the Reign. The west region matches begin on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
As for the east, the Spark will face the Fusion while the Dragons face the Dynasty. With only four teams, the bracket itself is smaller, but still double-elimination. The east matches begin on Friday at 6 a.m. ET.
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.