Update: change of rules (8th of July, 2016)
We have heard your feedback, agree with it and have implemented two rule changes for the upcoming qualifier:
- From the second week of qualifiers onward, all matches are to be played with "Hero Selection Limit" set to "1 Per Team".
- Escort and Hybrid maps will no longer reward ties. Instead, the team that manages to either a) push the payload further or b) reaches the final checkpoint faster, will be awarded an additional point and thus win the map.
We hope you enjoy these changes. Good luck in the next qualifiers, Monday in Europe and Wednesday in North America.
At this year’s gamescom in Cologne, Germany, ESL will host the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown - an international competition with a six figure prize pool. A total of eight teams, four from North America and four from Europe, will battle it out on the ESL Arena stage at gamescom on August 20-21.
It is now time to assemble your team and sign up for the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown qualifiers to show off your skills and compete at the highest level.
There will be a whole month of European and North American qualifiers starting in early July. At the end, we will have eight teams, four from each region, traveling to Cologne, with all expenses paid, to clash at gamescom.
Schedule and format
- July 4-5: EU Open Qualifier #1
- July 11-12: EU Open Qualifier #2
- July 18-19: EU Open Qualifier #3
- July 25-26: EU Open Qualifier #4
- July 6-7: NA Open Qualifier #1
- July 13-14: NA Open Qualifier #2
- July 20-21: NA Open Qualifier #3
- July 27-28: NA Open Qualifier #4
In each cup, four teams qualify for their respective regional final.
Day 1 of open qualifiers:
- Start at 18:00 CEST for EU, 12pm PDT for NA
- Best of one from start to Ro128
- Best of three from Ro128 to Ro16
Day 2 of open qualifiers:
- Start at 18:00 CEST for EU, 12:00 PM PDT for NA
- Best of five for Ro8
The qualifier finals will take place on August 1-2 starting at 18:00 CEST for Europe and August 3-4 from 12:00 PDT for North America.
All of the matches in the finals will be played in a double elimination best of five format. The finals will feature 16 teams per region with four teams (eight in total) qualifying for gamescom.
For the qualifiers. we’re planning to base the format on the new Competitive Play mode being added to the game soon. The mode is currently being publically tested—look for an official announcement from Blizzard shortly, but if you want to read up on the latest information from the PTR, check out Blizzard’s recent forum post.
We’ll be using the Competitive Play format for all map types, with the exception of the coin flip mechanic mentioned in the post above. To resolve ties, teams will instead go to a single point on a predetermined Control map and decide the winner of the round there.
One goal is to see the whole variety of maps and game modes Overwatch has to offer. To make this happen the map pool will consist of a weekly six map rotation featuring at least one of each game mode (Escort, Assault, Hybrid and Control). There will also be no map vetoes - all matches will rather have a predetermined first map and after that it will be the loser’s choice what map is being played next.
It’s important to note that teams will have the freedom to craft team compositions as they like with no hero restrictions or limits. Blizzard and ESL see the option to stack heroes as a core game concept and central to the strategy of Overwatch, as it gives teams the most room to be flexible and adaptable.
To honor the early success of some teams, we are going to seed the top teams according to their results in all tournaments since release. If your team hasn’t participated in any online tournaments yet there is still time to catch up: sign up for our upcoming Go4Overwatch to get a better seed in the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown qualifiers!
*NEW* Rule update
Integration of Competitive Play in Qualifiers
- All games are to be played with the “Competitive” ruleset.
- Each won map awards one point. To win, two points are needed in a Best-of-Three (Bo3) and three points are needed in a Best-of-Five (Bo5).
- In case of a tie on Payload, Hybrid or Assault maps the automatically starting sudden death is to be ignored. Instead, both teams will be awarded one point and if needed the next map is to be chosen by the team with less overall points. If the series is tied a coin flip will determine who decides the next map.
- If both teams are tied after three/five maps (in a Bo3 or Bo5 respectively) another Bo3 series on that week’s predetermined Control map will decide the winner.
Eligibility for Qualifiers
- All teams from Europe and the Americas (South America & North America) are eligible to participate in this tournament.
- Residency determines which region a team belongs to. Permanent residency or proof of a pending permanent visa application is required.
- If a team consists of players from both regions the majority will decide where the team belongs.
- If a team is split in residency they have to decide what region they want to represent. This choice cannot be reverted at any point during the tournament.
Join the action!
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to rise in the Overwatch esports scene and sign up for the qualifiers! If you prefer to only watch the matches, we got you covered as well. All qualifiers will be streamed live over at our Overwatch Twitch stream, commentated by Jason Kaplan, Mitch “Uber” Leslie and Leigh “Deman” Smith.
To keep up with all Overwatch action going on at ESL, be sure to follow our dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts. For more on Overwatch, follow Blizzard's Overwatch account on Twitter and like Blizzard's Overwatch page on Facebook.