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Overwatch Contenders Sets Three New Live Events For 2019

January 18, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch Contenders

Blizzard’s lack of support for Overwatch Contenders has become a frequent target of criticism, and it looks as if the company is trying to change that. The Contenders website has announced three new live events to take place in 2019, two “Showdown” events and a tournament called “The Gauntlet.”

The Pacific Showdown will feature the top teams from China, Australia, Korea, and the Pacific region in a double-elimination bracket tournament, and runs from May 24th to the 26th in China. The top team from each of Australia and the Pacific will be invited along with the top two teams from both China and Korea.

The Atlantic Showdown runs from May May 31st through June 2nd and features the top two teams from Contenders Europe, the top three North American teams and the best South American team, also in a double-elimination bracket. That tournament will take place in either Europe or the Americas.

The final tournament between the three, The Gaunlet, will feature teams from both the Pacific and Atlantic Showdowns in a “tournament format [that] will emphasize interregional competition for maximum excitement.” It runs from October 10th through the 13th.

The move comes in the aftermath of criticism after Overwatch Contenders decided to eschew LAN events for regional finals. Blizzard has been criticized by fans, experts and players alike for their lack of solid support for the Tier 2 scene including low prize pools, plus lack of exposure, promotion, and funding. Like any sports or eSports system, the Tier 2 and 3 scenes are essential to the long-term health and success of the Overwatch League, so Blizzard’s decision to bring more highly-promoted live events is a welcome sign.