Overwatch exploded into the esports scene with a huge audience for the game immediately developing upon the open beta. When it was finally officially released on May 24, 2016, the game already had millions of fans across PC, Playstation and Xbox. Eventually, Blizzard Entertainment decided to create the Overwatch League. The Overwatch League, or OWL, was to take a different path than many of the biggest esports in the past. Instead of having different esports orgs compete under their unified banner, OWL would adopt a city-based franchised model like traditional sports.
Entering the fifth season of the Overwatch League, it was announced that the league would be switching to the yet-to-be-released Overwatch 2. Instead of the previous six vs six gameplay, OW2 reduces each team to five players.
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