Overwatch Contenders in 2020 will be run with an entirely new format. Most notably, the league system will be done away with and replaced with bi-weekly tournaments featuring promotion and demotion.

Each Contenders season will now run on a system where teams earn points based on where they finish in bi-weekly Contenders tournaments. At the end of each season, the top eight teams based on points will make it into their region's double-elimination playoffs to compete for their region's title.

New Contenders format Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

To start the 2020 season, all teams from Contenders 2019 Season 2 will be invited to compete in a preliminary double elimination tournament. This will determine the seeding of the first Trials and Contenders tournaments of 2020. The bottom four from that tournament will enter Contenders Trials. There will not be another preliminary seeding tournament in 2020.

In each Contenders tournament, the top four teams will have a first-round bye. Additionally, four teams from each tournament will automatically qualify for the next Contenders tournament. The bottom eight teams will have to qualify for the next one through Trials.

Contenders bracket Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

They will be joined by a set number of Open Division teams twice in the season. The top eight of Open Division will enter the first Contenders Trials of the season. The top four of Open Division will enter the third week of Contenders Trials.

Trials and Contenders will alternate from week to week. Additionally, regions will now be split into two divisions with Australia, Pacific, China and Korea representing the Pacific Division and North America, Europe and South America representing the Atlantic Division. Each division will alternate Contenders play between each other from week to week. While regions from the same division will play at the same time, there will be no cross-region play within the divisions.

After the fourth week of Contenders play, the playoffs will begin based on points earned by teams throughout the season. At the end of the playoffs, a champion will be crowned. There will be two Contenders seasons in 2020.

Blizzard confirmed the Showdowns and the Contenders Gauntlet will return in 2020. Details will be released later. Additionally, information on prize money and potential LANs will be revealed later in the year.

No information was given on how previous rules surrounding academy team qualification will play into the new Contenders format.