Blizzard has revealed more details about Contenders 2019 in a news post on the Contenders website. The news post goes in-depth about the two Contenders seasons that will happen this year.
Six teams will make the playoffs in each region after the initial eight teams compete in a round-robin. The playoffs will be single elimination with the top two seeds getting a bye in the first round.
The one exception to this will be Contenders China. As a result of retaining 12 teams within its Contenders tournament rather than eight, China's format will look similar to the one all regions used in 2018.
The previously announced Atlantic and Pacific Showdowns will occur following Contenders 2019 Season 1. The Showdowns allow teams from different regions to compete against each other in a LAN format.
Trials for Contenders 2019 Season 2 will feature only six teams: the top four from Open Division and the bottom two from Contenders Season 1. Academy teams can be relegated just as any other team would.
The Gauntlet, which was also previously announced, will feature 10 teams from several different regions competing in a group stage and will ultimately end with a double-elimination bracket. The Gauntlet will follow the end of Contenders Season 2.
Contenders Season 1 is set to take place during Stages 1 and 2 of the Overwatch League. The Showdowns will take place during the mid-season All-Star break. Contenders Season 2 will occur during Stages 3 and 4 of the Overwatch League and the Gauntlet will take place following the end of the Overwatch League playoffs.
While exact prizing has yet to be revealed, Blizzard stated it would be at least as much as in previous year. They reiterated a previous statement that the prize distribution would be more top-heavy in Contenders 2019 than in Contenders 2018. Additionally, the Showdowns will include a $125,000 USD prize pool while the Gauntlet will have a $250,000 prize pool.
Although Blizzard announced Contenders Season 1 would occur during Stages 1 and 2, they did not announce an exact date for the start of Contenders.