Teams are about to become LAN-imals on June 2.
After a month of intense competition and fierce experimentation in the world of Overwatch 2, Overwatch League teams are ready to throw down in this seasons first regional tournament.
The Kickoff Clash, which runs from June 2 to June 5, will crown two regional champions and set the stage for the seasons global Midseason Madness tournament later in the year. Along the way, eight West Region teams and four East Region teams will get to earn League Points and big bucks.
For the west, this will be the first large-scale regional event since March 2020. Fans will be packing seats in Dallas, Texas to cheer on their favorite teams for the first time in over two years.
Heres everything you need to know in order to enjoy this weekend of epic battles.
Both Overwatch regions will be competing in a double-elimination bracket, meaning teams have a chance to climb their way back into the grand finals through the lower bracket after an initial loss.
All teams that have qualified for the tournament will earn an extra League Point, which determines playoffs at the end of the season. Second-place teams earn two points and the champion in each region will take home three valuable League Points.
Teams are playing for more than bragging rights, though. The East Regions champion will earn $50,000 USD while the runner-up will still pocket $35,000. One champion in the West Region will take home a whopping $75,000 with the regions second place team earning $50,000; the prizes scale down from there for both regions.
By win count, last years champions the Shanghai Dragons tied for first in the region with the Hangzhou Spark, both boasting a 5-1 record in the Kickoff Clash qualifiers. The Dragons had a few shaky matches, though, so Hangzhou beat them out on map count to take first seed.
Hangzhou chose the Philadelphia Fusionwho stunned fans with a week one sweep against the Dragonsas their first opponent. The Fusions mostly-rookie squad has been doing better than expected, racking up a 3-3 record with a lot of hype around DPS newcomers Zest and MN3.
Shanghai was then left with the Seoul Dynasty and the threat of facing off against veteran DPS Profit, who often goes into playoff Profit mode during tournaments. Never count out the Dragons, though, who will lean on the aggressive support of LeeJaeGon and the deadlift potential of 2020 MVP Fleta.
Thanks to immensely talented O2 Blast graduates like Proper and Finn, the San Francisco Shock sailed to a first seed placement in the Kickoff Clash qualifiers. With a 6-0 record, they were free to choose any of the four lower seeds to be their opponents for the quarterfinals. Seemingly unafraid of clutch performances from DPS phenoms like Decay and Happy, San Francisco picked the eighth-seeded Washington Justice.
With only a single loss to the Houston Outlaws during opening weekwhich the team has chalked up to nervesthe Dallas Fuel roster showed up during the rest of the qualifiers. The tournaments second seed selected the Toronto Defiant for the first round. Dallas is banking on the success of players like Edison, with his stellar Reaper play, but should watch out for sneak attacks from Heesu and his flock.
One of the four teams heading into the Kickoff Clash with a 4-2 record, the Los Angeles Gladiators had a lot to prove after being reverse swept two times in a row during the qualifiers. The Gladiators chose to face off against another 4-2 team, the Houston Outlaws. With seasoned snipers and flex DPS on both ends, its guaranteed to be a true showdown.
After these picks, the Florida Mayhem was left with the Atlanta Reign. Both teams have struggled to make use of talented players or mesh together the disparate pieces of their rosters. What both teams have in spades, though, is trash talk. Though the match will be good, the spice might be the real draw for this quarterfinal match.
Western teams start the fun with a series of four quarterfinal matches that begin at 2pm CT on June 2. Four winners will move on to compete in the upper semifinal matches, which begin at 2pm on June 3. Teams that lost in the quarterfinals will have one more chance to stay in contention; lower bracket matches begin on June 3 at 5pm CT.
With little time to rest, the two teams that remain in the competition will fight it out again in a second round of lower bracket matches, starting on June 4 at 2pm CT. The upper bracket finalswhich will determine one participant in the Kickoff Clash grand finalsbegin at 5pm, followed immediately by the third round of lower bracket competition.
Whichever team claws its way through the losers level will have a hell of a day on June 5, with the lower bracket finals beginning at 2pm CT. Immediately after, the winning team will face off against the upper bracket champions in the Kickoff Clash grand finals, to begin around 3:30pm CT.
In the East Region, the Hangzhou Spark will face off against the Fusion at 5am CT on June 3 with the match between the Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty following immediately after. Winners finals and the first game of the losers bracket take place on June 4. One winner will escape the lower bracket and also move directly to the grand finals, which kick off at 6:30am CT on June 5.