The Overwatch League announced its 2022 season will begin on May 5, alongside some other bits of news, in a community update posted to their YouTube channel on Tuesday.
When compared to the 2021 season, the May 5 start comes around two weeks later — though the video made no mention of when the season will end. Teams will, however, play 24 regular season matches throughout 2022. This schedule allows for teams in the West Region to play each other team twice and teams in the East Region to play each other once each tournament.
This number of matches is up from the 16 regular season ones from 2021, and is intended to address any strength of schedule concerns according to Overwatch League product team member and former caster Matt “Mr X” Morello.
Overwatch League 2022 is coming this summer
Opening week matches have also been confirmed as the Los Angeles Gladiators vs. the New York Excelsior in the west with the Philadelphia Fusion taking on 2021 champions the Shanghai Dragons in the east.
The league’s tournament structure will also return from last year, with the season split up into four tournaments. However, the Kickoff Clash and the Summer Showdown are now regional events, meaning each region will run their own bracket. The Midseason Madness and Countdown Cup will remain international events, with teams competing against the best in the league.
Western teams will always send eight teams to each of the four tournaments while the East Region will send four teams. Teams will once again accrue League Points through regular season matches and also through the tournaments, which will determine their path to the playoffs at the end of the season. League points will also be taken into consideration for the Midseason Madness tournament.
Additionally, while the video lacked any specifics, the Overwatch League will return to live events in some manner during the 2022 season, according to new Head of the Overwatch League, Sean Miller. The details will depend on safety conditions.
Finally, the video was the first appearance of Miller in his new capacity as head of the league. It also featured Overwatch League talent including Soe Gschwind, Mitch “Uber” Leslie, Scott “Kusta” Kennedy and Danny Lim.