Overwatch Contenders 2021 Starting Dates and Format Changes

The Overwatch Contenders and Overwatch League seasons are now quite close to returning, with a new format for 2021 and the whole shebang. OWC 2021 will look substantially different and offer participants added stability and time to develop talent.

The Contenders season starts March 11th, and will give fans some headway until main League starts back up. In the game itself, the start of a new competitive season has been delayed a little while, after some strange bugs have left the season ending in less than a minute seemingly indefinitely!

Overwatch Contenders 2021

Overwatch Contenders 2021

The Overwatch Contenders League is a nice pre-season warm up that gets fans back into the swing of things for the next full season. As the League has had a revamp this year, Overwatch Contenders 2021 have received some substantial changes too. Contenders is the highest level event below the pro League. This is where players who hope to make the jump to the full Overwatch League are tested, potentially it’s where you’re going to see the next stars of the game.

The Overwatch Contenders 2021 Season is continuing the regional format that was part of 2020. Teams are divided into North America, Europe, South Korea, China, and Australia. This gives a lot more scope for local clashes than the regular League, divided into East and West. Some of the regions taking part this time around are changing the format however.

North America and Europe are going to continue with the same style of competition as last year. Eight teams are using a double elimination bracket, playing once a month. Trials take place half as often though. China is running the same format as last year, but with the total teams reduced from twelve to eight. Australia will similarly cut down from eight to six.

Trial events have been halved in some reasons to give teams a longer run into Contenders and help teams commit more to this scene.

The South Korean portion of Overwatch Contenders 2021 is running a ten league team. There will now be an inter-group round before the playoffs. This adds more complexity to the seeding for the playoff bracket, and gives teams more chances to perform well.

Overwatch betting should be available for the main Overwatch League once the season kicks off. For Contenders we can expect markets to open during the April or May portion of the season.

Overwatch Contenders Starting Days

All regions are set to begin by the end of March. Australia is the first region to officially kick off their Contenders season, while Europe and America will start their Contenders Trials on the same day. Here’s a breakdown of the starting dates for all OWC regions:

Regular Season

  • Australia – March 11, 2021
  • Korea – March 15, 2021
  • China – March 24, 2021
  • Europe – March 29, 2021
  • North America – March 30, 2021

Delay in Overwatch Competitive

At the moment, Overwatch is experiencing some weird competitive technical technicalities. The latest competitive season, Season 27, was due to start on March 4th. Four hours came and went past the cut off for the new season beginning, where nothing basically happened. Competitive mode was down all together for a period. After a while, Blizzard finally got in touch to clarify the situation.

The current season has been extended, so players can continue to use the competitive game mode until the overall problem is solved. The wider issue is the new season itself. This is now due to start March 9th, at 1PM. This should give developers time to fix whatever problem has gone wrong.

The player side of Overwatch hasn’t had the best few weeks. Blizzcon brought little news for the game or its sequel. Many in the community had inexplicably gotten their hopes up, expecting big news from a game that was never implied to be coming soon. Overwatch 2 isn’t coming in 2021, and with nothing new planned for the original a lot of players are worried the game will stop holding players’ interests in the interim.

The return of Overwatch Contenders 2021 and Overwatch League should go a long way to reinvigorating fans, even if the game itself is going to be in a bit of a dry patch this year.

Read next: OWL 2021 format and Valiant moving doesn’t scream healthy ecosystem