‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
One of the biggest criticisms I had for the first season of Overwatch League was how it treated the Contenders scene. While the Contenders scene could almost never be as popular as the actual league itself, it has continually been a constant string of disappointments since its inception. The most recent of which was reported by VPesports in regards to the misconduct and unethical negotiations practiced by former Infinite Executive Alicus.
I will give credit where it is due. As reported in the article, Blizzard did crack down on the fact that GGEA had control over multiple contenders teams and end the clear conflict of interest problem that arose from it, though it was admittedly done at the last second.
There have been other problems with Contenders, the biggest being that participating in Contenders doesn’t seem profitable to almost any of the big esports teams in other esports. I pointed this out before, but it bears repeating that unless your contenders team is connected to an OWL team, there is no incentive to have an actual Contenders team. You don’t need to win Contenders to buy a slot into OWL. As far as I can tell, you still can’t make a profit off of it. You don’t even get any kind of glory as it is a second tier league relative to OWL.
While the increase of OWL teams and their academy squads will mitigate this somewhat, there are only 20 franchises in the league and 80+ teams in Contenders. Situations like this will continue to happen unless Blizzard step in and either put a heavier hand in controlling Contenders or make it a better scene where competent 3rd party orgs find some reason to invest into the scene.