Our Overwatch Contenders guide contains schedules for the Open Qualifiers, Group Stage and Playoffs elements of the event. Streams and video-on-demand will follow.
With a lack of information regarding the much-hyped Overwatch League - Blizzard's grand eSports vision for the game - it came as a surprise when the publisher announced an additional league called Overwatch Contenders.
Season Zero of Overwatch Contenders has already begun, with separate brackets for North American and European teams. It's an online-only tournament with a USD $50,000 prize pool per region. The top teams from Season Zero will be invited to compete in the next season (Season One), where they’ll battle in the offline playoffs for USD $100,000.
Still with us? Good.
Overwatch Contenders is quite confusing at first glance, but it’s essentially a precursor to the Overwatch League. Established and non-established teams alike will be able to showcase their talent and make a name for themselves, with the ultimate aim of becoming champions.
We’re viewing it as Blizzard’s way of firmly establishing a competitive scene before the main Overwatch League begins, while giving themselves a bit of room to try out aspects of the competition that can be refined over time.
To make life easier, we’ve brought together all the information you need to understand the action.
Who can participate?
Anyone who thinks they've got what it takes can sign up, and the process itself couldn't be simpler. Just head over to the official Overwatch Contenders page, click on the "Sign up" button, and follow the instructions to register a team. You can also get an existing Team Captain to add you to the roster.
We've just added the results and VOD from NA's Group Stage (June 19th). We'll be adding the results from the EU Group Stage when they happen as well, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime you'll find NA's results under the relevant categories below!
Results and VOD
Details of the tournament format can be found further down the page, but here are the links you need to access results and VOD for all of the action so far:
Here you'll find the top 16 teams that have qualified for the Group Stage, as well as the Group Stage draws for each region. These teams will face off in the hopes of topping their groups and reaching the Playoff stage.
Note that this stage of Overwatch Contenders has now concluded.
Over 1200 teams across North America and Europe competed for spots in the group stage. below you'll find all of the results for the key matches that took place.
A collection of all the VOD we can gather for Overwatch Contenders. We'll be updating this frequently as the tournament progresses.
UPDATE: Apologies if you've noticed that some of the VODs we linked previously aren't there anymore. It turns out that many of the VODs we originally posted were suddenly taken down, so we've done our best to update these pages with those that are currently available. Do let us know if any of our VODs aren't working, and we'll update the page accordingly!
The first stage is an Open Qualifier. The dates have been confirmed as follows:
Commences in North America: June 3 - 4, 2017
Commences in Europe: June 10 - 11, 2017
What actually happens next and what format it will take is not actually clear yet, although we do have the following information.
Note that these initial matches will be determined on a best-of-three basis. Here's how it works for the US:
- There will two chances for the Top 16 teams to move onto the Group Stage.
- The top eight teams from Day One of the Open Qualifier go straight through to the Group Stage.
- The next eight best teams are seeded into the Day 2 of the Open Qualifier.
- The top seven teams on this day again go through to the Group Stage. Cloud9 get automatic qualification, hence the lower number.
The EU region works just the same, but there is no Cloud9 equivalent.
Commences in North America: June 17 - 18, 2017
Commences in Europe: June 24 - 25, 2017
- The top teams from the qualifying stages will battle to become one of the eight teams to advance to the Playoffs.
- Matches will be determined on a best-of-three basis.
- There are four Groups of four teams per region.
- Each team will play against the other teams in their group twice throughout the course of the week
- Teams who place in the top two within their Groups will advance to the Season Zero Playoffs. This makes eight teams per region.
North American teams play: 1 July, 2017
European teams play: 2 July, 2017
- The final eight teams fight for the championship.
- Matches will be determined using a best-of-five format for the Round of Eight, and Round of Four portions of the week. Think of these as the Quarterfinals and Semifinals.
- The teams that make it to the Finals will play in a best-of-seven for the trophy.
Those that placed in the top eight teams of Season Zero automatically qualify for Season One of Overwatch Contenders, with double the prize money on offer. Although nothing has been confirmed for this next season, but we’re pretty confident the format will remain largely the same.
What about opportunities for amateurs?
Alongside the Overwatch Contenders League, Blizzard wants to introduce an Overwatch Open Division targeted towards amateur teams of a slightly lower skill level.
It's a tournament series starting in 2018 that will offer emerging teams the opportunity to compete for their chance to make it into the Overwatch Contenders seasons. There's little information on this so far, but we're pretty certain that the sign up process will be similar to that of the Overwatch Contenders league.
The action's already started and we'll be putting up the latest results and VODS over on the next few pages.