Roughly two weeks ago, the Battle.net App was updated to support Encrypted Shadowlands builds and the first 9.0 build (33411) hit. Then last week, we saw two builds on Monday and Tuesday (33451 and 33480).
Originally, we thought the alpha (or beta) would start in February, before PAX East. However, that event has now passed and Riot is drawing tons of hype with their announcement for Valorant this week, so Blizzard may wait for that news to subside before pushing more Shadowlands information.
There’s still no release date for Shadowlands but you can catch up on the new expansion features like Torghast and Covenants in our expansion overview.
Edit: WoW Vendor has updated as well, but the build number is slightly smaller. With this update, WoW Vendor finally changed from Patch 8.3 to Patch 9.0. Throughout Battle for Azeroth, we’ve seen WoW Vendor updates occur several weeks before the PTR opened for testing.