The Overwatch League announced this week they will be bringing live audiences back for the postseason happening this September. Activision-Blizzard revealed the postseason will take place from Sept. 4th–25th, and while much of it will be online regional play-in matches, the big events for the league will return to offline competition in North America. The Playoffs will be taking place Sept. 16th–19th at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, while the Grand Finals will happen at Galen Center in Los Angeles, California on September 25th. No word yet of health and safety guidelines at the event, but we're guessing in at least Los Angeles you'll need to provide proof of vaccination. You can read more about the playoffs below as tickets for both of these events will go on sale in August.
In the West Region—comprising the Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Paris Eternal, San Francisco Shock, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and Washington Justice—the three teams that finish the regular season with the most League Points will directly qualify for the playoff bracket. In the East Region—which includes the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty—the two teams with the most regular-season League Points will earn a spot as well.
The other three berths will be determined through the online single-elimination regional play-ins taking place Sept. 4–5. In the West, the fourth through ninth seeds (based on League Points) will compete for two spots; first-round matches will be contested between the four lower seeds, with the sixth seed picking their opponent from the eighth and ninth seeds, and the winners will go on to face the fourth and fifth seeds, with the fourth seed picking their opponent, and the winners will go on to face the fourth and fifth seeds, with the fourth seed picking their opponent. The third through fifth seeds in the East will compete for one remaining spot; the fourth and fifth seeds will face off with the winner facing the third seed.
Once the eight playoff teams are finalized, they will be seeded into the double-elimination playoff bracket based on their overall League Points earned and placement within their region, with a sequence of tiebreakers applied if necessary. Higher seeds in each region will enjoy significant advantages throughout the postseason, including byes, choice of opponent for the first round of the playoff bracket, and opening map selection.