Blizzard Entertainment have allegedly opened up an internal conversation regarding a structure shake-up for the Contenders system.

18:11, 03 Jul 2020

Blizzard Entertainment have allegedly opened up an internal conversation regarding a structure shake-up that would lead to significant changes in Overwatch Contenders, sources have told GGRecon.

Since the introduction of the Overwatch tier two scene, there had been significant criticism, from both organisations and players alike, with many entities departing following objections to the system. If implemented, the new 2021 format would see an entirely different competitive experience.

According to these sources, one of the hallmark changes which are being discussed would be a monthly draft competition, abolishing teams within the Contenders system. Instead, a system of team captains choosing their teammates they will play alongside within each tournament would take place. As such, it would be possible for a captain from a team like Third Impact to choose players from Team Doge, Karasuno or Third Impact for the duration of the tournament for example. 

These changes are focused on Korea, China, Europe, and North America and are as follows:

  • Monthly Tournaments would be introduced
  • A mix of both contenders tournaments and sanctioned third-party events would also take place

According to these sources, Korea and China would have a TBD format, although for EU and NA the following is being taken into consideration:

  • For Contenders tournaments, a draft system of players would be introduced
  • Players would have to register on a tournament platform
  • Teams would have neutral branding during the monthly tournaments
  • Within these monthly tournaments, captains would be selected on the platform, in which they can draft pairings (Tank/DPS/Support duos) for their mixed team
  • Drafted teams would have a set amount of time to prepare for the tournament
  • Participants would still receive prize money
  • During the downtime of these monthly tournaments, sanctioned third-party events would be hosted.
  • Teams can participate in these third party tournaments as organisations

Initial voices from within professional Overwatch teams have expressed their dislike for the idea of a draft system, citing issues with the development of soft skills that would only develop by playing with a team for an extended period of time. The level of play would also significantly drop, putting the desirability of Contenders teams as Overwatch League scrim partners in jeopardy.

What this would hold for the future of Overwatch is unknown, although it is definitely a shake-up from the current system. 

Blizzard did not immediately respond to our request for comment. 

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Image via Blizzard. 

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