Overwatch Contenders and off-season play will quickly become serious business for any esports organization. With season one upon us and twelve teams competing, it seems like the feeder league will suddenly become extremely important.
Contenders this past summer was great and featured a lot of amazing play, as did APEX. With the expanded new design that Blizzard is instituting there will be a LOT more games to watch. Now Contenders will be in seven regions: North America, Europe, South America, Australia, Pacific, Korea, and China. This changes the idea of APEX into Contenders which we spoke about yesterday. If these regions all run tiered tournaments, suddenly there is a massive amount of Overwatch to behold. They begin in March. Likely some of the best Overwatch will be played here as many unsigned players compete for the League and esports teams bid to sign players. Rumors continue for season two. Contenders will now host 3 seasons a year carrying an aggressive schedule similar to Overwatch League.
Will the Open division remain open? Teams have to dominate in competitive play and then compete to enter Contenders Trials. A tourney which highlights each Contenders season. This feeder system is similar to the Premier League in England having the best team rise to the top. It will also host a huge push of investors and players to get involved quickly. Aiming at the growing league system overall.
This aggressive schedule matches the Overwatch League’s 24 games a week schedule which will run for six months. It all seems like a solid play by Blizzard to flood the landscape with content in esports. Depending on how quickly LCS and E-League can match up, OWL and Contenders are looking to leave them in the dust.
Creating the hero narrative is Blizzard’s top deal, so now with these feeder leagues, they will be doing it for players as well. Players who come out the system and grow into pros will become heroes. It is a strong approach from a company that has the power and influence to back up the system in place. The question is, how many teams will form and grow within Open and Contenders to support the ecosystem?