No Layer 2 neither in TS or FS Lab
I had a look over the new released Labs, and I saw (I need to say I wasn't the first one to realize about this, but a former post about this in some other thread was surprisingly removed by the author), that there are no L2 tasks.
Even though you shouldn't expect all the technologies being present on all labs, L2 is important enough to be present in all of them. First, this is a Routing and Switching exam, so L2 and L3 not only are in the scope, but both of them are the "alma mater" of the track. And that's as simple as consider that one of the main lessons to learn by the CCIE candidate is that lower layer issues produce higher layer issues. Your BGP won't work well if your L3 (IGPs) isn't working well. And IGPs won't work well if your L2 isn't properly deployed and free of issues.
That's why we get TS questions like "A is not able to speak with B". Then we need to go to an structured approach for L2, L3 or even L4 troubleshooting and verifications till we get the root cause and fix the issue.
The question of concern for me is not getting L2 or not in these two first labs. The question of concern for me is that I realized after some other forum member disclosing this missing part that in my opinion it's going to be more difficult to get challenging L2 scenarios in the FS and TS labs with the physical topology INE is proposing for the v5 blueprint.
Why? Well, in this topology all routers are connected to a virtual hub in the Hypervisor, then connecting this Hypervisor "in a stick" to the L2 switches via a unique interface. So you don't really need the L2 switches for them to have reachabiliy to each other. In other words, traffic between routers does not traverse the switches segment, as it remains local in the hypervisor. Traffic that would be traversing the switches segment is limited to that going to/from SVIs in the switches. So any task or issue in the switches is not affecting them. This constrains the possibilities in TS, as it gets harder to trigger for example OSPF issues being triggered by L2 disruptions. We could technically do it between SVIs, but we know that we couldn't get more complicated scenarios...
Concluding, for example, we can almost 100% of the times discard any L2 issue in the TS tickets to begin with, which I don't believe that is the scenario I will face in the exam, and no matter my mistakes in L2 configurations they won't break anything in higher layers in my CFG lab, which I'm absolutely sure it's not going to happen that way in the exam.
My suggestion to INE would be to use at least one different physical link from the Hypervisor to each one of the switches so you can at least simulate them being connected to different physical portions of the network. That would lead us to more realistic scenarios, and proposed labs.