Overwatch League franchise San Francisco Shock won the 2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals in a 4 – 0 match. However, it is not the end of the competitive Overwatch season yet. The 2019 Overwatch Contenders tournament known as The Gauntlet will take place between Oct. 9 and 13. The biggest Contenders teams from the Atlantic and Pacific Division will battle it out at the Giga Arena in Seoul, South Korea for a $250,000 prize pool.
Fan activities, participating teams, daily schedule, and more—here’s everything you need to know about The Gauntlet. #PathToPro
— Overwatch Path to Pro (@owpathtopro) October 4, 2019
The Gauntlet event is the equivalent of the grand finals for the Contenders Academy league. The top three teams of Korean Contenders; the first place teams of China, Pacific, and Europe Contenders; and the top four teams from North America regions have qualified. The initial event will feature 10 teams competing in group stages. The group stage consists of a double-elimination bracket where eight of the 10 teams are split into groups of four.
However, the championship teams of each region will be given a pass to advance directly to the finals stage. The teams in each group will play in first-to-three matches, with the top three teams advancing to the finals stage. The 4th place team in each group will be eliminated. The finals stage will consist of eight teams in a double-elimination bracket as well. Matches are first-to-three, except for the winners’ finals, losers’ finals, and gauntlet finals, which are first to four.
From the Korean Contenders region, RunAway, Element Mystic, and Gen.G Esports are participants. First seed Runaway is one of the most well-known teams, as their entire Contenders Season 2 roster was acquired by Overwatch League franchise Vancouver Titans. During the 2018 – 2019 season, the Runaway roster has achieved multiple 1st place finishes during Contenders and NetEase Esports Tournaments.
LGE.Huya is the top team representing the China region at Contenders Gauntlet. This team is the academy team for Overwatch League franchise Chengdu Hunters. It features a half Chinese, half Korean roster. The team took first in Season 1 and Season 2 of China Contenders. However, they fell short to Pacific region powerhouse Talon Esports in the Pacific Showdown.
The four teams from the North America regions were decided after the North America East and North America West Grand Finals. The two runner-up teams faced each other, along with the East and West Champion teams competing. In the end, Atlanta Reign Academy took the first seed, while Team Envy, XL2 Academy, and the Los Angeles Gladiators Legion made up the other three spots in that order.
The Southeast Asia region’s first-place team is Hong Kong esports organization Talon Esports. The team’s mixed Korean, Thailand, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong roster won both Season 1 and 2 of the Pacific Contenders. The organization tried to make a run for Korea Contenders in early 2019 but placed 7th during Trials.
For those attending the Overwatch Contenders Gauntlet event in Seoul, there will be many activities being hosted. Other than the usual Overwatch store for merchandise, there will also be arcade-like games. A Photo Zone will be there so fans can take pictures with Gauntlet backgrounds and Overwatch heroes.
There will also be a Giant Pachimari Doll along with a Nerf Gun Game, which can be often seen at Korean Overwatch events. A Hammer Game will be hosted where fans will win Overwatch prizes based on their Earthshatter strength. Finally, a Workshop Station mode has been designed for players to try out, in groups of six at a time.
Overwatch Contenders Gauntlet will be available on Twitch with channels for English, Korean, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. There will also be four platforms for Mandarin speakers: Zhanqi, NetEase CC, Bilibili, and Huya.