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Does the lack of Overwatch during the week get you down? Maybe you want to watch some games while you’re on the bus to work or just chilling on the couch after dinner. Are you possibly interested in discovering the future stars of the Overwatch League? Well, look no further than Overwatch Contenders.
As the official second-tier tournament for Overwatch’s Path to Pro, Contenders features 68 teams from eight regions around the world with games running seven days a week.
Overwatch League stars like the entire Vancouver Titans roster, Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse for Boston, and Hangzhou’s Xu “guxue” Qiulin have risen up from Contenders to make a name for themselves on the game’s biggest stage. Even some of the game’s great casters, like Seth “Achilios” King and Wolf Schröder, came from Contenders before starting in OWL.
Recent changes to the tournament heading into 2019 have shaken a few things up, but here’s everything you need to know for season one.
Here is a list of all Contenders teams playing in season one this year, sorted by region.
- Sydney Drop Bears
- Blank Esports
- Ground Zero Gaming
- Melbourne Mavericks
- Legacy Esports
- Big Time Regal Gaming
- Flag Gaming
- Guangzhou Academy (Guangzhou Charge’s Contenders team)
- Hangzhou Academy (Hangzhou Spark’s Contenders team)
- LGD Gaming
- LGE.Huya (Chengdu Hunters’ Contenders team)
- Lucky Future
- T1w Esports Club
- Team CC (Shanghai Dragons’ Contenders team)
- Team For Victory
- Triple Six Legend
- Angry Titans
- British Hurricane (London Spitfire’s Contenders team)
- Eternal Academy (Paris Eternal’s Contenders team)
- Samsung Morning Stars
- Shu’s Money Crew EU
- Team Gigantti
- Young and Beautiful
- Element Mystic
- GC Busan Wave
- Gen.G Esports (Seoul Dynasty’s Contenders team)
- MVP Space
- O2 Blast
- WGS Armament
North America East
- Chicken Contendies
- Fusion University (Philadelphia Fusion’s Contenders team)
- Gladiators Legion (Los Angeles Gladiators’ Contenders team)
- Mayhem Academy (Florida Mayhem’s Contenders team)
- Montreal Rebellion (Toronto Defiant’s Contenders team)
- Second Wind
- Uprising Academy (Boston Uprising’s Contenders team)
North America West
- ATL Academy (Atlanta Reign’s Contenders team)
- NRG Esports (San Francisco Shock’s Contenders team)
- Phase 2
- Second Generation
- Square One
- Team Envy (Dallas Fuel’s Contenders team)
- XL2 Academy (New York Excelsior’s Contenders team)
- Cyclone Coupling
- Giant Lynx
- Global Esports
- KIX Team
- Nova Monster Shield
- Talon Esports
- Xavier Esports
- Caverna e-Sports
- INTZ eSports
- Isurus Gaming
- Lowkey Esports
- The Suquinho Nation
- UP Gaming
- XTEN Esports
How to watch?
With a jam-packed schedule, it’s hard to miss out on Overwatch Contenders. All games are streamed, with English streams appearing for all regions (except South America) on the official Contenders Twitch channel. There’s no English stream for Contenders South America.
For other language streams:
- Contenders China will be available on four different streaming services in Chinese: CC, Zhanqi, Huya and Bilibili. Links haven’t been released yet with games starting on March 16.
- Contenders Europe has five other language streams: Finnish (Assembly), French (Casters Nest), German (Noserino), Italian (G Division) and Spanish (Titan Media).
- Contenders Korea will, obviously, have a Korean livestream, also accessible on Twitch.
- Contenders Pacific is streamed in Thai on the Overwatch Thailand channel and Chinese on the Overwatch Taiwan channel.
- Contenders South America is available in Spanish on the Overwatch Brazil channel and Portuguese on the Overwatch Latin America channel.
What’s on the line?
There’s a combined $3.2 million prize pool across all eight regions for the year. Australia, Pacific, and South America will be duking it out for $100,000 apiece, while the other five regions have $200,000 each on the line.
On top of that, the best teams from each region will be invited to the Pacific and Atlantic Showdowns in late-May, with a chance to qualify for the Gauntlet, which is like a world championship for Contenders teams.
It’s also a chance for players to get noticed and secure an Overwatch League contract for mid-season, next year, or the future. The best way to cut your teeth and get noticed in Overwatch is to perform outstandingly in Contenders, and maybe you can one day make your Path to Pro a reality.
As a spectator, you can get the chance to discover these diamonds in the rough and follow them on their journey to the top. Nothing is better than cheering for someone on the big stage with a heavy serving of regional pride on the line.