Overwatch Contenders will look quite a bit different this year.
With Overwatch League Season 2 approaching, Overwatch Contenders has announced several changes to its format and playoff structure. These tweaks are designed to allow the two sides to more effectively run parallel while also offering OWL teams with farm systems a better opportunity to promote or demote talent as needed.
Foremost among the changes are shifts to the league schedule. Overwatch Contenders in 2019 will consist of two seasons rather than three, with the first taking place alongside OWL stages one and two, and the second taking place opposite stages three and four. The number of regions has been increased from seven to eight, courtesy of North America being split into NA East and NA West. That said, the overall number of teams that compete will decrease as most region’s regular season will include eight teams rather than the previous count of 12.
Each season will consist of four parts. The first phase, called trials, will determine the competitive field for each region with a “transitional tournament.” Once the trials are completed, the regular season begins, with eight teams from each region competing in a round robin format. A six-team tournament will follow with the regular season’s top two performing teams receiving byes.
At the end of Season 1 the remaining teams will face off in the Atlantic and Pacific Showdowns, with teams from the NA East, NA West, South America, and Europe regions competing in the Atlantic division and teams from the Pacific, Australia, China, and Korea regions competing in the Pacific.
Season 2 will conclude with “The Gauntlet,” which will bring together teams from all eight regions.
The full list of changes can be found on the official Overwatch Contenders website.
The regular season will kick off on February 24, with the beginning of Contenders Australia.