Overwatch Contenders introduces July tournament format for EU and NA

The new format won't include a grand final match.

Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch Contenders season two for both North America and Europe will feature monthly double-elimination tournaments with no grand final matches, Blizzard announced today. The first tournament will begin on Monday, July 27.

Neither tournament will feature a grand finals match. Instead, the winner of the upper bracket will automatically claim the Contenders championship title, while the winner of the losers bracket will face off against the loser of the semifinals to determine second and third place. 

The removal of the grand finals seems like an odd decision, considering the grand final is traditionally the culmination and climax of any tournament. By removing that grand finals match, the emphasis of the tournament shifts from a showcase of the two best teams to a showcase between the second and third best teams, which is less exciting than a championship match.

Blizzard also announced that the top seeds will be selecting their first round opponents, copying the system currently used by the Overwatch League in which the high-seeded teams select their opponents for early-round matches during tournaments. In a similar fashion to the Overwatch League’s selection show, Contenders will feature a Contenders Seeding Show where team representatives will select their opponents live. That show will take place on Friday, July 24.

Unlike Contenders season one, all matches for Contenders season two will be broadcast on the Overwatch Contenders YouTube channel.

The teams competing in the North American season two July tournament will include Team Doge, Square One, Triumph, Odyssey, Malibu, Slept on, Scion Esports, and Third Impact.

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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The European season two July tournament will feature The British Hurricanes, Vox Nihili, Shu’s Money Crew, Sheer Cold, Avoided, Ex Oblivione, Young and Beautiful, and Raspberry Racers.

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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Matches in both regions are set to be commentated by the following caster duos:

  • Jennifer “LemonKiwi” Pichette and Harry “Legday” Pollitt
  • Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez and Christian “Heurix” Thomasser
  • Thomas “Tridd” Underwood and Rosemary “Nekkra” Kelley

Overwatch Contenders has gone through some significant restructuring over the past year. Blizzard announced in June that it was canceling the Pacific Contenders circuit, moving the Korean and Australian circuits to a “league” format, and transitioning the NA and EU Contenders to this monthly tournament format. 

Blizzard said it will use the feedback from the upcoming July tournaments to make further adjustments to the Contenders format going forward.