So, an odd effect this could have is on the KR region itself. Because of the region locking more players than ever will be returning to Korea, but the number of Contenders teams has been reduced to 8, instead of having been expanded to accommodate the influx of talent that's eventually going to come in.
My guess is that will make the KR region even more condensed in talent...possibly to a point where better players aren't being seen because their teams didnt make it.
All of this could lead to players from KR being considered in even higher regards for OWL, over other regions, but more importantly, it could also add to the discontent of yet another region that feels like Blizz doesn't care about them.
At the very least this is what it feels like to me in regards to the KR region. For the other ones I think 8 teams makes sense, but the prize pool redistribution will make it harder for "decent" teams to stay active and will probably cause a lot of team/player turnover, or at least even more than we already see now, imo.
Now, I think I can grasp the direction that Blizz wants to go with this, but I don't agree that Academy teams should get a free pass every other Contenders Season (if the leaked video mentioning that they get re-invited to the first one of each year automatically still stands). Academy teams already have the huge advantage of getting access to more resources and support. On the other hand non sponsored teams already have it hard and because of rules put in place by Blizzard many teams just can't get sponsored.
I'm really hoping that my first impression of all of this is wrong and that it works out somehow, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll let the state of the game do it's own talking in hopes that changes are made if/when they are needed and that the house of cards doesn't crumble before they do anything about it.
OWL/OWC 2019 is going to be something, I pray that it's something good rather than bad.