Blizzard Entertainment is officially ending the Overwatch League as it transitions to “evolving competitive Overwatch in a new direction.” This follows months of uncertainty as Blizzard wrestled with updated terms for the massive esports league and getting OWL teams to agree to the terms. If teams couldn’t agree, they’d each receive a $6 million termination fee.
Blizzard started talking about a “revitalised esports program” in early October which made players question whether the Overwatch League was still a priority for the company. As it turns out, Blizzard has been trying to make that transition to a new esports program while keeping hush about the fate of OWL until now.
An Activision Blizzard spokeperson recently told GG Recon:
“We are transitioning from the Overwatch League and evolving competitive Overwatch in a new direction. We are grateful to everyone who made OWL possible and remain focused on building our vision of a revitalized esports program. We are excited to share details with you all in the near future.”
Earlier this week, GG Recon also reported that several Overwatch League teams had ultimate voted to leave.
The Overwatch League was at its strongest after 2016 following the release of the first Overwatch game. Since then, it had faced numerous challenges to stay afloat including the global pandemic and allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment at Activision Blizzard that caused several sponsors to pull out of the event. Blizzard made it clear that Overwatch esports will continue but it will simply take a new form in the future. For now, the Overwatch League is dead.
In other news, Blizzard launched Diablo 4 crossover content in Overwatch 2 last month but was swiftly criticised for its pricey monetisation of the bundle. The game launched on Steam back in August but quickly became the target of review bombing from disgruntled players who didn’t agree with the way Blizzard had been handling the sequel’s post-launch support.
Source: GG Recon