The Overwatch League As We Know It Is Dead

The Overwatch League As We Know It Is Dead

Issues are wanting dire for the Overwatch League (OWL), the aggressive esports scene constructed round Blizzard’s well-liked hero shooter, as the corporate laid off some 50 workers on July 18.

In keeping with a report by The Verge, OWL’s destiny after the present season, which is slated to finish in October, is as much as workforce house owners. Later this yr, house owners will decide a brand new working settlement or select to terminate the league solely, Blizzard laid out throughout its Q2 earnings name on July 19.

“If the groups don’t vote to proceed beneath an up to date working settlement, a termination price of $6 million will probably be payable to every collaborating workforce entity (whole price of roughly $114 million),” Blizzard stated.

The Overwatch League already has points

This yr’s OWL season was already fraught with numerous issues. One fan favourite workforce, the Chengdu Hunters, fully dissolved this previous June after Chinese language writer Netease declined to maintain Overwatch playable in mainland China, in accordance with a June report by GGRecon. In the meantime, different groups have switched international locations. The Paris Everlasting workforce moved to Vegas and Fusion went from Philadelphia to Seoul. As all of this occurred, rosters had been fully shaken up, with the Everlasting including three gamers who began proper in the course of the Midseason Insanity match, OWL’s midway level main as much as the Grand Finals in October. All that is to say that OWL was already in a fairly precarious place.

Now, although, issues solely look worse. Along with the 50-person layoff, viewership isn’t what it as soon as was, per The Verge. Nonetheless, OWL commissioner Sean Miller underscored Blizzard’s dedication to esports.

“I wish to be clear on one factor specifically, that Overwatch stays dedicated to a aggressive ecosystem in 2024 and past,” Miller advised The Verge. “And we’re constructing towards a revitalized international scene that prioritizes gamers and followers.”

Blizzard’s esports senior director of worldwide communications Brad Crawford echoed Miller’s sentiment to The Verge.

Blizzard nonetheless stays dedicated to OWL esports

And in an e-mail to Kotaku, a Blizzard spokesperson caught to the identical script as Crawford and Miller, confirming that esports continues to be necessary to the corporate, regardless of the layoffs and impending proprietor vote.

“We stay dedicated to a aggressive ecosystem in 2024 and past and are exploring quite a lot of choices that prioritize gamers and followers with a revitalized international scene,” the Blizzard spokesperson stated.

Nevertheless, The Verge reported that impacted workers didn’t really feel this dedication or assist, with one former staffer saying the layoffs had been “an entire shock to everybody” and nobody was “provided any alternative to change roles or groups.” Most of the foremost faces of OWL, such because the casters, eulogized the seeming finish of OWL on-line and thanked the league for all it did for followers and gamers.

It’s unclear, too, what Blizzard assist and dedication for OWL via 2024 and past will entail. And it doesn’t assist that this all comes as the corporate admits participant engagement and funding in Overwatch 2 is on the decline. Yeah, it’s actually not wanting too good.


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