Over the past three years, Overwatch and the Overwatch League have made a splash in the esports scene. With player numbers topping 40 million over the past years, 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. The league is paired with two other amateur leagues called Overwatch Contenders and Overwatch Open Divison aimed at developing upcoming talent. The leagues mirror the traditional sports model by providing permanent slots for 20 teams without the possibility of relegation. With this system, players can focus on improving and competing at the highest possible level, which lends itself to a constant stream of thrilling matches. The Contenders and Open Divison leagues however, feature a relegation system to give as many potential pros a chance as possible.
In this article, BettingTips.gg will cover everything you need to know about OWL as well as some esports and Overwatch League betting tips, predictions, and tricks that will help you find an edge over your bookmakers.
Overwatch League 2020 Predictions
The 8th of February marks the begging of the Overwatch League 2020 season. Following recent format changes, each week two new teams will host a Homestead weekend in their arenas with teams engaging in a Home/Away competitive cycle.
Part of our yearly Overwatch League betting calendar consists of analyzing and creating the best picks and predictions for each week of competitive play. Starting with 2020, we are going to observe and moderate our Weekly Predictions in a single article with consistent updates for each week of competitive play.
We have already observed the off-season and created our Overwatch League power rankings and best Overwatch teams and players selection. What remains for us to do is predict the outcomes on each matchup week upon week until the end of the season.
Hopefully, by the end of it all, we will have an accurate prediction rate of over 95%.
Got to OWL Predictions :
Week 1 – New York & Dallas
The first competitive weekend is hosted by the New York Excelsior and Dallas Fuel at the Hammerstein Ballroom and Arlington Esports Stadium respectively. The teams in attendance in New York are: Toronto Defiant, Paris Eternal, New York Excelsior, London Spitfire and Boston Uprising. Dallas will host: LA Gladiators & Valiant, Vancouver Titans, San Francisco Shock and of course Dallas Fuel.
As we can observe the first weekend features the top three dominating teams from the 2019 Overwatch League season and the top three teams from our Power Rankings. We predict the first weekend will showcase the dominance of these roster in their opening matches and prove our power rankings worthy.
Let’s look at the opening 8 matches in Week 1 and our predictions. (Predicted winners in BOLD)
- Sat, Feb 08 – Toronto Defiant vs Paris Eternal
- Sat, Feb 08 – London Spitfire vs New York Excelsior
- Sun, Feb 09 – London Spitfire vs Paris Eternal
- Sun, Feb 09 – Boston Uprising vs New York Excelsior
- Sat, Feb 08 – Los Angeles Gladiators vs Vancouver Titans
- Sat, Feb 08 – Los Angeles Valiant vs Dallas Fuel
- Sun, Feb 09 – Los Angeles Valiant vs Vancouver Titans
- Sun, Feb 09 – San Francisco Shock vs Dallas Fuel
As we can observe we follow and respect our initial preseason predictions closely for the opening weekend and we hope for a solid accuracy chance in our initial picks. At the bottom you can observe our overall accuracy chance week upon week as we update the article.
Week 2 – Philadelphia
Due to the Shanghai event being cancelled, we have a limited game amount this weekend.
Let’s look at the following 4 matches in Week 2 and our predictions. (Predicted winners in BOLD)
- Sat, Feb 15 – Florida Mayhem vs Houston Outlaws
- Sat, Feb 15 – Washington Justice vs Philadelphia Fusion
- Sun, Feb 16 – Washington Justice vs Houston Outlaws
- Sun, Feb 16 – Florida Mayhem vs Philadelphia Fusion
Week 3 – Washington
We kick off Week 3 with the 1st of the 5 Washington homestands. The Anthem will host eight teams and six matches over the weekend.
In a recent update, OWL announced they would move all Chinese homestand matches to Seoul until the situation with the coronavirus settles. We won’t have to wait too long before we see all teams in action and an extended game schedule.
We predict this week’s matches to go as follows: (Predicted winners in BOLD)
Sat, Feb 22 New York Excelsior vs Philadelphia Fusion
Sat, Feb 22 Boston Uprising vs Houston Outlaws
Sat, Feb 22 Paris Eternal vs Washington Justice
Sun, Feb 23 New York Excelsior vs Houston Outlaws
Sun, Feb 23 Toronto Defiant vs Philadelphia Fusion
Sun, Feb 23 London Spitfire vs Washington Justice
Week 4 – Houston
The fourth competitive weekend lands in Houston. The Revention Music Center hosts nine teams and seven matches.
As was the case in Week 3, the coronavirus troubles are still present in the OWL. The Outlaws cautioned the visitors with some solemn advice ahead of the weekend.
We predict the Week 4 matches will go down as follows: (Predicted winners in BOLD)
Sat, Feb 29 New York Excelsior vs Florida Mayhem
Sat, Feb 29 Toronto Defiant vs Atlanta Reign
Sat, Feb 29 London Spitfire vs Houston Outlaws
Sun, Mar 1 Boston Uprising vs Philadelphia Fusion
Sun, Mar 1 Paris Eternal vs Atlanta Reign
Sun, Mar 1 London Spitfire vs Florida Mayhem
Sun, Mar 1 Toronto Defiant vs Houston Outlaws
Prediction Accuracy Tracker
Our Accuracy Tracker is at 61.11% with 11 out of 18 correctly predicted matches so far.
Overwatch League Format
Before we dive deep into the ins and outs of Overwatch League betting, let’s get familiar with the competitive format of the OWL.
The Overwatch League is organized and maintained by Blizzard Entertainment. It consists of 20 franchised teams based in different cities around the globe competing in a single league and division format. They are divided in two competitive divisions (Pacific and Atlantic) based loosely on their franchise home city.
The teams play 28 matches each across a total of 52 homestand weekend events hosted at venues across the world. Their Win/Loss records count towards a total list of standings which determines the seeding for the postseason. In order to reach the 28 match mark, each team plays two matches against opponents in their division and one match against opponents from the opposite division. All of that sums up to a whopping 560 Regular Season matches and an insane opportunity for Overwatch League betting.
The regular season isn’t just a never-ending stream of games. Each Homestead weekend provides additional opportunities for viewers and bettors on various events happening during a specific weekend. Additionally, midway through the season, the league takes a break for the Midseason and All-Star event. These events are the mini-Playoff smacked right in the middle of the competitive season and are aimed at pairing the best teams in the League at that specific point. During the midseason break period the transfer windows are open, so teams can change up their rosters and make other adjustments to prepare for the next stage of the league.
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. Four more teams are seeded directly into playoffs bringing the number to six. The final two spots are decided in a Play-In tournament. The OWL Playoffs 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 $1.5 million first-place prize.
With the current format, this title offers 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-12 threshold, OWL matches become more and more competitive. And there’s nothing more exciting than watching top-tier players chase their playoffs dreams.
Editor’s Pick: Bet on the Overwatch League with Betway
Overwatch League Teams
If you want to go on the esports betting Overwatch League journey, you have to start with the teams and the players on their rosters. As we’ve mentioned, the competition has 20 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.
Let us start with the New York Excelsior, a team that has consistently stayed near the top of the standings. 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 and the superiority of the NYXL line-up, so placing wagers on them won’t bring you much of a profit.
The top dogs in the OWL, however, are the rosters of San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. These two organizations absolutely dominated the 2019 season amassing almost perfect scores and only dropping games to one another. Similar to Excel, both squads feature a strong Korean roster, but then so does most of the league as 60% of the players come from Korea.
The opportunity for Overwatch League betting with these 3 teams comes when they play against each other. As odds are high for either team and nuances decide the matches. A well train bettor can spot the exotic markets during these matches and earn a good payout.
The second batch of teams starts with Seoul Dynasty, a team with immense potential. They are famous for occasional flashes of brilliance, and occasional flashes of absolute mediocrity. Many of their players are renowned for their individual skill, but the shot-calling just isn’t there. As a result, Dynasty is an unpredictable opponent in many matches as much for potential bettors as it is for bookmakers.
Shanghai Dragons are noteworthy since they were absolutely underwhelming in Season 1, then absolute gods in Season 2. Bookmakers did not catch up to how the Dragons changed in 2019, resulting in massive gains to bettors on this team during last year. We are not certain how Shanghai Dragons will perform in 2020 but we are certain bookmakers will either overestimate or underestimate them as usual.
You want to pay the most attention to this up-and-coming lineups. Los Angeles Valiant, Boston Philadelphia Fusion and Paris Eternal have all had their time in the spotlight. Hell, some of them even challenged the Top3 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.
If you seek to fully understand our breakdown of the OWL teams, head over to our page dedicated to the Overwatch League Power Rankings.
Overwatch League betting strategies
The first thing you need to know is the betting markets. We’ve already outlined the most common ones in our ultimate esports 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. Overwatch Bets is here to help as well with our own Best Overwatch Players rankings and Overwatch Hero page to keep you well informed for your potential bets.
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. Keep in mind that the Control map mode has become to default starting mode in all matches in 2020, meaning every team will heavily prepare their control map strategies making for some tricky predictions.
Another important concept is minimizing risks. Even if the Midseason playoffs between two teams ended with a 3-0 in favor of the former team, it would be very difficult to predict this exact outcome because losing a map type depends heavily on the map choice and composition. To this end, you could decrease the variance in your Overwatch League betting by making handicap bets or targeting specific exotic markets. Our Overwatch Odds guide is here to help you figure out if your bet is a solid choice. If instead you prefer to use your mobile devices, because you are not at home or you do not have access to your desktop PC or laptop, you can always opt for Overwatch mobile betting, consult our guide.
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.