Everyone can’t start at the Overwatch League, or even Overwatch Contenders. For aspiring Overwatch pro gamers, Blizzard operates the Overwatch Open Division—an amateur tournament that leads into Overwatch Contenders Trials.
Seven Overwatch Contenders regions operate Open Division tournaments: Australia, China, Europe, South Korea, North America, Pacific, and South America. Season three kicks off on Aug. 18, and registration is open now for potential participants. Teams compete twice a week for five weeks leading into the playoffs, which begin on Sept. 29.
Four teams from each region will go up against Contenders Trials teams, which are the four bottom teams from each regional Contenders tournament. Four teams from Trials will move on to Overwatch Contenders in each region.
Prizing varies across each region, but most are tossed a few Blizzard bucks per player. Money isn’t the real draw here; it’s the opportunity to get noticed by Contenders or even Overwatch League teams.
The Overwatch path to pro is definitely a grind, with hundreds of teams signing up each season. Nearly 200 are signed up in North America already. Last season, there were over 600 teams in North America alone.
Another option for competitive Overwatch this summer is a Copa Lúcioball tournament specifically for college students. Blizzard and collegiate esports organizers Tespa have put together a three-on-three competitive Lúcioball tournament to be held online from Aug. 11 to 12. The Tespa Arcade: Summer Lúcioball tournament is open for all college students across North America. There’s more money up for grabs here, too. Overwatch players can earn $100 Blizzard Battle.net bucks if they’re playing on the winning team.