The top-seeded team will get to choose its first opponent
The Overwatch League picks back up this Wednesday with the start of Stage 3. Based on how Stage 2 culminated (Philadelphia Fusion beat London Spitfire and then narrowly lost out to New York Excelsior), there are plenty of reasons to be stoked for the playoffs. Today, Blizzard announced a few format changes which should help bring about even more dramatic moments and potential upsets.
Going forward, the stage playoffs will include the top four qualifying teams, not just three, and Blizzard is switching to a bracket system. That means we’ll now get three matches on Stage Finals Sunday.
“Here’s the fun part: while the top-seeded team at the end of each stage no longer has a bye into the title match, they’ll now have the benefit of selecting their first-round opponent. They could choose to match up against any of the lower seeds, and they will play their chosen opponent first on Stage Finals Sunday. This choice will be announced once the four participating teams are confirmed and the No. 1 seed is locked in—which may not happen until the very last day of the stage!”
Again, these changes should give rise to entertaining moments for Overwatch League fans, especially as some of the middle-of-the-pack teams come into their own these next few weeks. The tiebreaker rules will be the same as before (map differential), and the same goes for the Stage Finals prize pool — the winning team will walk away with a $100,000 bonus and the runner-up will earn $25,000.
Expanding the Stage Finals [Overwatch League]