The Overwatch League has an exceptionally long off season. The offseason is slated to last 201 days. From the last day of Grand Finals (Jul. 28) to the first day of the second season (Feb. 14), a long period of time has passed. In comparison to other sports, this is still not the longest offseason. The NFL has the longest offseason of the major professional leagues in the United States. The NFL offseason lasted 214 days before the 2018 season. One major difference is the period of preseason that the NFL has. The Overwatch League has no such preseason. Before the first season of the Overwatch League, there was an inaugural preseason. However, there have been no plans announced by the Overwatch League to have a preseason before Season 2.
There is hope for fans yearning for more competitive Overwatch, though. Contenders Trials Season 3 has started in Europe, South Korea and Australia, while North America, China, Pacific and South America starting soon. There is so much to look forward to with the Overwatch League, but also a large amount of talent and fun in Contenders.
One main draw for Contenders right now is the timing. It is happening right now. There are games on every day of the week. From the various different regions, there are games at all hours of the day. While viewers may not be as interested in the Tier 2 scene, their other option is no Overwatch. They do not need to get as involved as the Overwatch League, but if they want to learn and see players at high levels of competition, then Contenders is the way to go.
The various different regions also allows for viewers to get to know players from around the world, as well as see how the regions play. The EU Contenders scene is very well known for its GOATS comp. Seeing these high level players compete and have fun is what it is about. Just the other day, there was a Torbjorn 1v1 on the point. During a match. How crazy is that? This is not what you would see in the Overwatch League, but it is fun nonetheless.
Overwatch League fans can follow along with their teams academies. Teams like the Gladiators Legion and British Hurricane, affiliates of the Los Angeles Gladiators and London Spitfire, respectively. These academy teams are connected to the teams that Overwatch League fans love so dearly. Academy teams gives them a glimpse into who the organization has brought in, and who could be making the next step to their teams soon.
With the new two-way contract system, Contenders gives fans the chance to see some of these players. They can become more familiar with who will potentially be playing on their teams, and the style of play that they run. The new two-way contracts connects Overwatch League teams with their Contenders teams in a new way.
Many of the new players for the second season of the Overwatch League came through Contenders. For those early adopters who like to be ahead of the curve, this season of Contenders could give a glimpse into both players that could be signed over the course of the season, as well as those signed on for the third season of the Overwatch League.
Contenders does not have the same rules on age that the Overwatch League does. Players in the Overwatch League must turn 18 before Jun. 1, 2019. Contenders players, however, must be above the age of 13. This means that younger players have the opportunity to show off their skills, and hopefully get the attention of some Overwatch League teams. These young stars are the ones that will take over the league in the future, and being able to see them compete can be interesting for both players and teams.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Esports Insider
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