Overwatch League Betting
Overwatch made a splash in the esports scene. With over 40 million active players, Blizzard’s team-based shooter has everything it needs to succeed—and then some. And if you want to get in on the action, there are few better ways than Overwatch League betting.
The Overwatch League (or OWL) is a premier competition hosted by Blizzard Entertainment. It mirrors the traditional sports model by providing permanent slots to its 12 teams, so they don’t have to worry about promotion and relegation. With that, players can focus on improving and competing at the highest possible level, which lends itself to a constant stream of thrilling matches.
In this article, overwatch-bets.com will cover everything you need to know about OWL as well as some esports betting Overwatch League tips and tricks that will help you find an edge over your bookmakers.
Overwatch League Format
Before we dive deep into the ins and outs of the Overwatch League, let’s get familiar with the format. As we’ve mentioned earlier, OWL consists of 12 teams. At the start of the competition, they are all split into two groups of six, which form Atlantic and Pacific divisions. Over the course of the regular season, every team plays 40 four-map sets—20 against teams in its division, and 20 against teams outside of it.
The regular season isn’t just a never-ending stream of games, though. Instead, it’s separated into four stages where teams fight each other to secure lucrative bonuses and—most importantly—to improve their win/loss records. Once the stage comes to an end, a 10-day break provides some much-needed breathing time. Some of these breaks also open up transfer windows, so teams can change up their rosters and make other adjustments to prepare for the next stage of the league.
But it’s at the end of the regular season that the competition reaches its peak. Two teams with the best records receive byes into the second round of the playoffs while four more teams duke it out for the right to challenge them. OWL truly kicks into the overdrive in the semifinals, as the top-4 teams battle each other for a chance to claim the trophy and the $1million first-place prize.
This format might sound confusing, but it’s actually quite simple. Moreover, it opens up countless opportunities for Overwatch League betting. As teams continue to sign talent, hone playstyles and come up with new strategies in an effort to hit that top-6 threshold, OWL matches become more and more competitive. And there’s nothing more exciting than watching top-tier players chase their playoffs dreams.
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Overwatch League Teams
If you want to go on the esports betting Overwatch League journey, you have to start with the teams. As we’ve mentioned, the competition has 12 lineups, each of which represents its own city and playstyle. It would take a ton of time to go over every single one of them, but it’s definitely worthwhile to examine the most interesting OWL dynamics.
For example, New York Excelsior have consistently stayed at the top. Their Korean roster has a ton of firepower, and pros like Saebyeolbe, Libero, JJoNak, and Mano could become franchise-level players on different lineups. And when you combine them, you get a team of superstars that breezes through its competition. Unfortunately, bookmakers already assessed their strength, so placing wagers on them won’t bring you much of a profit.
London Spitfire looked like the prime team to challenge them. With players like Birding, Profit, Fury, and Gesture, they have plenty of talent of their own, so it’s not exactly surprising they performed well during the first stages of OWL. However, they lack consistency, which makes them a very risky pick in your Overwatch League betting ventures.
In a similar fashion, Seoul Dynasty have immense potential. But in spite of occasional flashes of brilliance, they never quite lived up to it. Many of their players are renowned for their individual skill, but the shot calling just isn’t there. And while Seoul Dynasty can dismantle weak opponents, they will crumble against rosters with proper teamwork.
Shanghai Dragons are noteworthy for how underwhelming they are. This is the clear-cut worst team in the league that looks outclassed even when it’s playing against other bottom-tier lineups. At this point, their fans want to see them win a single game. But considering their current level of play, it will take a miracle (or a complete roster overhaul) for that to happen.
You want to pay the most attention to the up-and-coming lineups. Teams like Los Angeles Valiant, Boston Uprising, Houston Outlaws, and Philadelphia Fusion have all had their time in the spotlight. Hell, some of them even challenged New York Excelsior for the #1 spot. With that, it’s a good idea to follow their games because even the slightest swing in momentum could open up great gambling opportunities.
Overwatch League betting strategies
The first thing you need to know is betting markets. We’ve already outlined the most common ones in our ultimate Overwatch betting guide. However, most OWL games follow a unique four-map structure, so your gambling opportunities aren’t as plentiful. Match winner wagers will be your bread and butter, so it’s important that you stay up to date with the power levels of most Overwatch League teams.
The best way of doing that is by watching live Twitch streams or catching up with official VODs. This approach is very effective, but it’s also the most time-consuming. And even if you don’t have the chance to break down every single VOD, you can still get in on some Overwatch League betting action. For example, you could make an educated guess based on the OWL standings alone, but you will get an even better idea of teams’ strengths and weaknesses by looking through their match histories on Liquipedia. Finally, you can turn to Winston’s Lab for detailed statistics and recent Overwatch news. The news part is particularly important, as you need to be aware of roster moves and player substitutions.
Of course, you could also find some opportunities to make map winner wagers. Keep in mind, though, that Overwatch pro games have four distinct game modes (Assault, Control, Escort, and Hybrid). When looking through VODs, try to find out if there are certain game modes your team always does well on. And once you spot a trend, use it to make smart map winner bets.
Another important concept is minimizing risks. Even if the stage 3 playoffs between New York Excelsior and Boston Uprising ended with a 3-0 in favor of the former team, it would be very difficult to predict this exact outcome because Boston were on a massive upswing at the time. You could decrease the variance by making handicap bets. Or, alternatively, you could walk away. It’s tempting to keep betting on OWL matches, but not every wager needs to be made. Sometimes there isn’t enough information, or it’s simply too hard to arrive at the right conclusion, so learn to recognize and avoid these situations. After all, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and watching a good game of Overwatch.
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