July 15, 2024

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The Overwatch League as we know it is dead

The Overwatch League as we know it is dead

Things are looking dire for the Overwatch League (OWL), the competitive esports scene built around Blizzard’s popular shooter champion, as the company laid off about 50 employees on July 18.

According to a report before the edgeThe fate of the OWL after the current season, which is scheduled to end in October, is up to the team’s owners. Later this year, the owners will either define a new operating agreement or choose to end the league altogether, Blizzard explained during its second-quarter earnings call on July 19th.

“If teams do not vote to continue under an updated operating agreement, each participating team entity will be paid a $6 million termination fee (total fees approximately $114 million),” Blizzard said.

the The Overwatch League already has it problems

This year’s OWL season was indeed fraught with various complications. One fan-favorite team, the Chengdu Hunters, Totally decadent Last June after Chinese publisher Netease refused to keep it Overwatch Playable in mainland China, according to a June report by GGRecon. Meanwhile, other teams have changed countries. Paris Eternal moved to Vegas and Fusion went from Philadelphia to Seoul. As all this happened, the rosters were quite shaken up, as Eternal added three players who started right in the middle of the game. Midseason Madness TournamentOWL’s halfway point leading to the Grand Finals in October. All of this meant that OWL was indeed in a precarious place.

Now, though, things only look worse. In addition to laying off 50 people, viewership is not what it used to be the edge. However, OWL Commissioner Sean Miller emphasized Blizzard’s commitment to esports.

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I want to be clear about one thing in particular Overwatch He remains committed to a competitive ecosystem in 2024 and beyond the edge. “As we build towards a renewed global landscape that puts players and fans first.”

Brad Crawford, Blizzard’s senior director of global communications for esports, echoed Miller’s sentiments the edge.

Still Blizzard He remains committed to OWL esports

In an email to Kotakua Blizzard spokesperson stuck to the same scenario as Crawford and Miller, emphasizing that esports remains important to the company, despite layoffs and an impending owner vote.

“We remain committed to a competitive ecosystem in 2024 and beyond, and are exploring a variety of options that prioritize players and fans through a renewed global landscape,” said a Blizzard spokesperson.

but, the edge It stated that affected employees did not feel that commitment or support, with one former employee saying the layoffs were “a complete shock to everyone” and no one was offered “any opportunity to switch roles or teams”. Many key faces of the OWL, such as the players, applauded the apparent end of OWL Online and thanked the league for all it had done for fans and players.

It’s also unclear what Blizzard’s support and commitment to OWL will entail through 2024 and beyond. And it doesn’t help that all of this comes because the company acknowledges players’ involvement and investment Monitoring 2 He is in decline. Yes, it really doesn’t look very good.