Today, Blizzard announced the location of the Overwatch Contenders Gauntlet. As it seems, competitive Overwatch is going to be returning straight to its roots. The event will take place in Seoul, South Korea, at the OGN Studios.
The Gauntlet will play out on Oct. 9 and run until Oct. 13, when the grand finals will presumably happen. Ten of the best Overwatch Contenders teams across the 8 competitive regions will participate in the event, which will crown the best Contenders team of the year.
South Korea, China, Europe, North America East, North America West, South America, Australia, and Pacific will all have the chance to send representatives to Seoul. There, they will fight for the lion’s share of the $250,000 prize pool. The number of invites for each region is, in most cases, still up in the air. Results of both the Pacific and Atlantic showdown will decide how many teams will participate from each specific region.
Not a regular arena for Overwatch Contenders
The OGN Studios, split into the Giga Arena and the Survival Arena, are a very important part of esports’ history so far. Multiple OGN StarCraft tournaments have been held here throughout the years. It was, however, most notable for being the venue where a fair chunk of the LCK League of Legends matches took place at the time when it was still produced by OGN.
The Giga Arena, where The Gauntlet will take place, has also played an important role in Korean competitive Overwatch. Before the Overwatch League existed, the best players in the world competed for the APEX trophy. As you may already have guessed, they did so at the OGN Studios and, more accurately, the Giga Arena itself.
The idea of holding international tournaments for the best tier 2 teams is a step forward in Blizzard’s plan for the Overwatch amateur scene. Definitely, it helps young talents get reliable LAN experience. At the same time, it also gives OWL teams a place to scout players who could turn into the next superstar of the game.
This weekend, the Pacific Showdown has taken place, gathering the best teams from the Asian regions. Korean powerhouse Element Mystic has taken home the trophy after a fairly one-sided run through the double-elimination bracket. With that victory, South Korea has gained an additional representative at The Gauntlet. Australia, on the other hand, has been left out of the tournament.
Regardless of which teams end up attending the event, however, the Overwatch community will be looking forward to one of the most memorable tier 2 events in the history of competitive Overwatch. It gets even better, moreover, when you know it is played at one of the most legendary arenas there are in esports.