Esports Overwatch

BREAKING: Overwatch League Community Countdown Announced

With just a week to go before the regular season begins, Blizzard announced the Overwatch League’s Community Countdown. The five-day event replaces last season’s more traditional preseason, and includes a variety of scrimmages and custom matches. The event kicks off on February 9, and will feature both the teams and a handful of community members.

Team Scrimmages

The event begins with a series of scrimmages on February 9 and 10. In each matchup, the first team to win two maps wins overall. The specific matchups are:

Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

February 9
Paris Eternal v. New York Excelsior
Atlanta Reign v. Boston Uprising
Toronto Defiant v. Philadelphia Fusion
Washington Justice v. San Francisco Shock
Florida Mayhem v. Houston Outlaws

February 10
Dallas Fuel v. London Spitfire
Vancouver Titans v. Los Angeles Gladiators
Guangzhou Charge v. Los Angeles Valiant
Hangzhou Spark v. Seoul Dynasty
Chengdu Hunters v. Shanghai Dragons

The scrimmages will provide a more casual first look at what to expect from the teams before the regular season begins. For most of the expansion teams, it will be the first time they play together for an audience.

1v1 Matchups

On February 11, individual players from each team will take the stage for 1v1 showdowns. The day begins with matchups on Ashe, the game’s latest hero. These matches will be headshot only, with B.O.B. and dynamite disabled, and the first player to five eliminations wins. Players participating in the Ashe matchups include:

Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim. Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

Hee-Dong “Guard” Lee (London Spitfire)
Chunting “Kyo” Kong (Chengdu Hunters)
Do-Heyon “Pine” Kim (New York Excelsior)
Lane “Surefour” Roberts (Los Angeles Gladiators)
Karol “Danye” Szcześniak (Paris Eternal)
Weida “Diya” Lu (Shanghai Dragons)
Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse (Boston Uprising)
Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae (Los Angeles Valiant)
Jeong-Woo “Sayaplayer” Ha (Florida Mayhem)
Yiliang “Eileen” Ou (Guangzhou Charge)

Following the Ashe matchups, a new set of players will play 1v1 Ana Paintball. Also played to five eliminations, these matchups are one-shot elimination, with Biotic Grenade disabled. Players participating in Ana Paintball include:

Jun-Sung “Asher” Choi (Toronto Defiant)
Grant “moth” Espe (San Francisco Shock)
Simon “Snillo” Ekström (Philadelphia Fusion)
Ju-Seok “Twilight” Lee (Vancouver Titans)
Petja “Masaa” Kantanen (Atlanta Reign)
Ho-jin “iDK” Park (Hangzhou Spark)
Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty (Houston Outlaws)
Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson (Dallas Fuel)
Riley “Fahzix” Taylor (Washington Justice)
Joon-hyeok “Zunba” Kim (Seoul Dynasty)

Several of the players here are new to the Overwatch League stage, so it will be interesting to see them in the spotlight. If these matchups are anything like the All-Star games’ Widowmaker 1v1s, expect a laid-back competition between some talented players.

6v6 Matchups

Full teams return to the stage on February 12, with Capture the Flag matches between the expansion teams. The games will follow standard Capture the Flag rules, with the first team to two rounds winning overall. The matchups for Capture the Flag are:

Atlanta Reign v. Chengdu Hunters
Paris Eternal v. Guangzhou Charge
Toronto Defiant v. Hangzhou Spark
Washington Justice v. Vancouver Titans

Mitch “Uber” Leslie. Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

On February 13, the league’s broadcast talent and a handful of streamers will participate in a showmatch to round out the series. Soe Gschwind-Penski, Mitch “Uber” Leslie, Robert “hexagrams” Kirkbride, Erik “DoA” Lonnquisst, and Matt “Mr X” Morello will represent the talent. Community members joining the fray include Stylosa, Mirage, Emongg, Fran, KarQ, LEETAEJUN, and CowboyBeBAMF. The group will play a standard competitive match, with the first team to three wins taking the series.

Information about preseason events was teased earlier in the offseason, leaving fans to speculate long before the official announcement. With more information on the table, fans and players alike can prepare for a showcase that will hopefully make the most of this preseason excitement.

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Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment. 

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