Overwatch community outraged by alleged plans to revamp Contenders - Dexerto

Overwatch community outraged by alleged plans to revamp Contenders

Published: 4/Jul/2020 0:26

by Theo Salaun


Blizzard has long endured criticism for their treatment of Overwatch’s Tier 2 scene, and recent reports of a major revamp to the Overwatch Contenders system have only heightened such scrutiny.

As it stands, the Contenders system consists of minor league teams (some affiliated directly with Overwatch League organizations), which compete in regional regular seasons and playoffs with a prize pool. Now, according to GGRecon’s sources, Blizzard is considering shifting to a new format that will break teams apart for monthly, draft-based tournaments.


While Contenders has provided the OWL with many top players, the T2 scene has still struggled with academy teams disbanding, players exiting, and a general lack of support. Still, in 2020 alone, those teams have given the league players like Kyeong-bo ‘Alarm’ Kim, Jun-ki ‘Yaki’ Kim, and… the entire Vancouver Titans roster.

The idea of a draft-based tournament is fun in theory, as it most popularly lent hype to the captain-drafted NBA All Star Games in 2019 and 2020 – but doing away with an entire team structure for monthly drafted tournaments destabilizes team environments that are crucial to developing pro-ready T2 talent. 


As noted by Florida Mayhem General Manager Albert ‘yeHHH’ Yeh, the new system essentially turns the Contenders scene into “a pug group.” He also clarifies two crucial factors that hurt the path-to-pro ideal: 1) Official tournament play being confined to drafts disincentivizes organizational involvement, and 2) breaking team cohesion and longevity disrupts intangible player growth.

To elaborate on the rumored 2021 format, official play would be confined to monthly prized tournaments between teams drafted by captains. Outside of these tournaments, organizations would be permitted to have their teams participate in any events hosted by third parties.

Considering how dependent Overwatch is on teamwork, forcing aspiring professionals to play on randomized rosters for most of the year makes it hard for anyone who’s not a superstar Korean DPS to prove their value. A clear example of how valuable OWL teams consider a team’s cohesion to be comes through the Titans, who opted to bring in three of their six players from the same Second Wind Contenders roster.


Making players draft their own teams for a tournament is spicy and exciting, albeit making gameplay sloppier. Turning that into the basis for their entire official circuit may save organizations some money, but hurts the quality of the games (as well as scrims with OWL teams), and puts too much pressure on third-party organizers.

As it stands, these changes would primarily take place in Europe and North America, with the format adjustments for the other regions presently undetermined. The Overwatch community will be actively monitoring these rumors, as they could have a major impact on the game’s professional scene.


Overwatch pro Super returns on Jimmy Fallon: When to watch

Published: 22/Oct/2020 12:17

by Lauren Bergin


OWL star Matthew “Super” DeLisi has been added as a guest on the show for the second time, linking up with popular presenter Jimmy Fallon. 

The Overwatch League is full of shining personalities, but it’s safe to say that the captain of reigning back-to-back champions San Francisco Shock is one of the league’s boldest and brightest.

The 20-year-old main tank player has certainly won the hearts of OWL fans, not only because his plays are the definition of brilliance, but because in every interview he features in his enthusiasm for the game is infectious.

This is likely why Jimmy Fallon has elected to bring back the OWL star for the 26 October episode of the classic American talkshow, The Tonight Show.

San Francisco Shock champs
Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment
Super is the enigmatic captain of back-to-back OWL champions San Francisco Shock.

This isn’t Super’s first time on The Tonight Show

Back in 2019 Super made his inaugural television appearance alongside former Overwatch flex player turned Valorant star Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won. Both players provided America’s viewers with insight into how the esports world works, discussing their rigorous schedules and sharing how many hours they sink into the game.

Super’s guest appearance on the show coincided with the team’s 2019 victory over the Vancouver Titans in the OWL finals, therefore it makes a lot of sense that Super has been asked to return to the show following a dominant performance over Seoul Dynasty.

When to watch and why

It’s nice to see esports becoming more prominent in mainstream media, so it’s worth tuning in to support the growth of esports, as well as learn a little bit about Overwatch as well. Super certainly knows the game inside out.

You can tune in to watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm ET on NBC on Monday, 26 October to see Super alongside superstars Sterling K. Brown and Zoe Lister-Jones.