It has been reported that Contenders Trials NA will take place on the same patch as is currently being played in the Overwatch League.
Alex ‘Ajax’ Jackson, support player for Last Night’s Leftovers, revealed on Twitter that Contenders Trials will be played on the same patch as the Overwatch League, leaving Trials teams with few options for practice.
Contenders Trials will pit the bottom four teams from Season One of Contenders against the top four teams from the Open Division. Four teams will qualify (or requalify) for the second season of Contenders, which is the next tier of Overwatch competition beneath the Overwatch League.
Ajax is set to play in Contenders Trials with Last Night’s Leftovers after the team finished 11th-12th in Season One of Contenders NA. The team qualified originally through the first Contenders Trials, but ahead of their attempt to do so again Ajax took to Twitter to criticize the patch choice for the competition.
While Contenders itself is not always played on a patch totally in line with the Overwatch League, which sticks to a single patch for each stage, for the upcoming Contenders Trials the same patch as the league is currently on will be used, which does not include the recent Hanzo rework or Brigitte balance adjustments.
The decision for the Overwatch League to use this patch for Stage 4 caused some controversy itself, with many fans not wanting to watch an outdated version of the game. For Contenders Trials teams, however, it presents a different problem.
As the patch only exists on a tournament realm which only the Contenders Trials teams have access to, their options for practicing ahead of the event are incredibly limited, only including the other teams they will eventually have to face in the tournament.
Given that this state of the game only existed briefly, it also means that the players won’t already have extensive experience competing on this patch. Ajax displayed his displeasure at the decision with mock enthusiasm in a series of tweets.
No one has practiced this patch in over a month. The game has changed so much since then. Im so :)— Ajax (@Ajax1OW) May 24, 2018
We have only 3 people we can scrim now. Only people that got relegated to trials have this patch with tournament realm client. Open teams dont have it yet. We can only scrim 3 teams rofl, the same teams we don't want to show strats too.— Ajax (@Ajax1OW) May 24, 2018