Following on from our in-depth look into the travel schedule, Yiska has picked out 13 interesting tidbits about your OWL team.

19:00, 17 Jan 2020

Yesterday Eric Doerr and I released an in-depth look at the travel schedule and its possible implications. From that data, we discovered interesting tidbits about the challenges different Overwatch League teams face in 2020. Make no mistake, generating the league’s schedule is a herculean task. Minimizing mileage is not the only concern, there are plenty of other considerations to take into account like competitive integrity, economic realities of each host and making it manageable for production. 

Out of interest, Eric ran a calculation of how much teams would have had to travel if the 2019 schedule, which had obviously not been optimized for travel. On average, the 2019 schedule would have meant 80,000 miles of travel within 6 months, peaking with 125,000 for the Guangzhou Charge. The schedule architects obviously did a solid job at cutting down travel miles. That being said, finding complaints on the schedule is rather easy and yields many eye-popping tidbits, leading us to find one bite for your favorite teams to either decry or celebrate.

  • Home alone: Lost in Guangzhou - The Charge hosts 6 of their first 9 games as an advantage to make midseason tournament. On the flipside, those first 9 games are against insanely strong opponents, with an average 62.7% 2019 map win rate, well above the second toughest at 58.9% for the Spark
  • A third of a season Atlantic invitational - Given the midseason tournament takes the division leaders and two wild cards based on record the record of the first 9 games, it’s quite possible that 3 of the 4 tournament teams come from the Atlantic. Based on 2019 map win rates and the early season intra-divisional play, a few early hot streaks could secure both midseason wildcards for the Atlantic Division. For the first 9 games using 2019 map win rates, Atlantic opponent averages range from 43.4% (Fusion) to 47.1% (Uprising). It's not hard to imagine the Excelsior (43.9%), Fusion (43.4%), and Reign (46.6%) turning the Atlantic into a division of extreme wealth and poverty, securing 3 midseason spots against 1 for the more evenly competitive Pacific.
  • Road trip, Road Trip! - Justice (18), NYXL (15), and the Fusion (15) play a majority of their regular season games within 500 miles of their franchise city. The Fusion even have 12 of their matches within a 300 mile radius of their home city. NYXL is at a close second with 10 in that radius. 
  • Carried by the crowd - The Justice play a net +7 games as homestand host rather than against homestand host when they travel. Their crowd could be a serious difference maker for them this season.
  • Catch me outside, how about that? - The Titans don’t face a single homestand host all season
  • No supports, gg go next - The Mayhem have a whopping 13 games where their opponent only has one game that weekend, meaning their opponent can prepare solely for Florida.
  • Always bring a friend - On the other hand, Dynasty’s opponents are almost always double booked for the weekends they play the Dynasty. There are only three games where Seoul’s opponent can focus solely on preparing against the Dynasty.
  • Lay-up or lay over? - Spark has the league-worst number of direct flight options, as they can only reach 6 of 19 OWL cities without making a connection. Los Angeles is the only OWL city that operates direct flights to all other franchise cities.
  • I’m so tired of crying but I’m out on the road again - Defiant (28) and the Titans (29) will earn the most passport stamps while the Outlaws (2) earn the least.
  • Flights too short for “the Irishman” - The Reign have a league-leading 24 flights under 1000 miles, with the next closest being Hangzhou at 19. 
  • Over, Under. Watch the Thunder - The Uprising, Excelsior, Valiant and Dynasty have +5 games where they will get a week of practice without traveling to the event site while their opponent will. The Dragons and Fuel are on the other end at -5 net games where their opponents should have a practice advantage.
  • Pump the breaks - The longest breaks in the schedule go to the Hunters, Reign, Outlaws and Titans with a four consecutive break week schedule. On the low end, NYXL, the Uprising and the Dynasty only have a maximum of two-week breaks. Everyone else has 3 weeks.
  • Every week they’re hustlin’ - The Dynasty, Fusion, and Titans are active for a league leading 19 weekends. On the plus side, this also means they have the most opportunities to specifically prepare against a particular opponent.


Picture courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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