Blizzard has revealed more details about the 2020 Contenders format, rules and schedule. Most notable is the removal of the region-lock on rosters for all regions except Contenders China.
Contenders 2020 will begin in January with a double-elimination seeding tournament that will determine how teams are seeded in the new biweekly tournament Contenders format. Seeding will take place from January 6 to January 26. Additionally, the first Contenders Trials tournament will be February 24.
Contenders teams now have the freedom to pick any number of players from any region. In Contenders 2019, teams could not have more than three "non-resident" players on their roster. With the new rules, teams outside of China can have any number of players from outside of their home region.
Additionally, academy teams will be able to utilize more two-way players at one time, now four as opposed to just two players last year.
Contenders North America will now be just one region. In 2019, it was split into Contenders North America East and Contenders North America West. It will return to one consolidated Contenders North America, which was how the region was setup in 2018.
According to the timeline graphic put on the Contenders website, the season will take place from January to June. During that time, there will be four Contenders Trials tournaments and four Contenders tournaments. Open Division now feeds into Contenders Trials four times a year.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Teams will earn points based on their placements in the tournaments. First places finishes are worth 100 points, second place finishes are worth 50 points, third and fourth places finishes are worth 35 points, finishes between fifth and eighth are worth 20 points and finishes between ninth and 12th are worth 10 points. The teams with the top eight most points earn a place in the playoffs at the end of the season.
There will be a combined $2.5 million in prizing throughout all of the 2020 Contenders program. That includes both seasons and all regions.