A memo shared with Contenders teams clarified questions about hero pools following the postponement of Overwatch League matches and also changed rules regarding seeding for Contenders Trials, according to sources working for Blizzard. The rules apply to all Contenders regions.
The memo says that last week's Contenders hero pool, which banned Sombra, Soldier: 76, Winston and Lucio, will continue to be used for this upcoming week. It also says that Contenders and Trials teams will continue to use this hero pool until a week after the Overwatch League selects their next hero pool.
Trials teams will be seeded based on point accrual in Contenders. Teams with more points in the current season of Contenders will be seeded higher in Trials even if they finished worse in the most recent week of Contenders. Ties will be broken with map wins and map points.
The Open Division teams that enter Contenders will get an opportunity to choose their seed based on placement. The Open Division champions will have an opportunity to switch their seed with the teams that finished second to fourth in Open Division. Then, the Open Division team which finished second will get to switch seeds with the teams that finished third and fourth. The third place team will get an opportunity to switch with the team that finishes fourth. The memo says this was tested in North America and will now apply to other regions after it saw positive results.
Additionally, the top seeded Trials team will have an opportunity to switch seeds with the teams seeded second to fourth. The rules for seeding the Trials teams as the Open Division teams.
Alongside the seeding changes and hero pool implementation, the memo further clarified that all Overwatch League Academy teams will not be relegated into Open Division playoffs. In the event an academy team places 9th-12th in Trials, the number of teams eligible for Trials promotion via Open Division Playoffs will be altered.