In an interview with Inven, former LuxuryWatch Blue and Team South Korea DPS Fl0w3R revealed he would be playing in the next season of Contenders with a team owned by the New York Excelsior. According to the general manager for the Excelsior, Bearhands, in an interview on the Around the Watch podcast, the roster is not finished yet.
The New York Excelsior, shortened to NYXL, picked up the roster of APEX team LuxuryWatch Blue during the signing period and furnished the roster with a few additional Korean players. Left out of NYXL's roster was LW Blue's star DPS player Fl0w3R, who was unable to be signed because he did not meet the age requirement for the league.
It was unknown how NYXL was going to hold onto Fl0w3R, if at all, without being able to give him an Overwatch League contract. It seems that the team has found their solution in putting him on a franchise-owned Contenders team. While Bearhands said there is no information yet on how contracts work in regards to a Contenders player's transition to the Overwatch League, he is confident Fl0w3R will be a member of NYXL's OWL roster when he meets the age requirement.
Even before New York bought out the LuxuryWatch Blue roster and had Fl0w3R to build around, Bearhands said that he wanted NYXL to have a Contenders team, which he stated must have separate branding from the Overwatch League team. He hopes to see other Overwatch League franchises operate Contenders teams of their own.
Several teams have declared interest in participating in the next season of Contenders, including EnVision eSports, Mosaic eSports, and NYYRIKKI Esports. While NYYRIKKI and other European organizations interested in participating in Contenders Season Two only have to compete with the London Spitfire for spots, there may be less space in North America depending on how many of the nine American OWL teams decide to field Contenders teams.
Blizzard has revealed little information on the details of the next season of Contenders, although Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer declared on Twitter immediately after Blizzcon that news would come soon, and more recently clarified there would most likely be news by the end of the month. Until then, players, teams, and fans alike are left in the dark as to how the tier below the Overwatch League will operate.