The Overwatch League is slowly reopening with a series of live events in Asia scheduled for this summer. As the world slowly reopens after a year under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Overwatch League is joining reopens starting in China. “The Overwatch League is actively monitoring the situation around the world so that we can continue to evolve our approach during the ongoing pandemic,” Blizzard said in a press release. “Due to improving health and safety conditions in China, we are delighted to announce the planned return of live events to three cities during the 2021 season.[.]”
The three dates in China are:
- June 4 – 6: Hangzhou Spark (June Joust)
- July 9 – 11: Shanghai Dragons (Summer Showdown)
- August 7 – 8: Guangzhou Charge (Countdown Cup)
During live events, these venues will welcome fans with reduced capacity. The five China-based teams will travel to each event, while the three Korea-based teams will play remotely. Chinese teams will play on stage while Korean teams will join through the cloud tournament server. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of many live events. As vaccine rollout progresses, some countries have started to reopen places, restaurants, etc. The 2020 season was supposed to roll out a round-trip format, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Overwatch League to play remotely. After the extended hiatus, the 2021 Overwatch League season returns this Friday, April 16.
Matt TM Kim is the editor-in-chief of IGN.