Multiple gaming sites received an official statement from Blizzard. It confirms the death of the Overwatch League after its great attempts in the past six years. Blizzard even claimed it was a bold new effort to transform the esports scene during its release.
“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.”Activision Blizzard’s Official statement via GGRecon
This was a tragic fate but not an unforeseen one. Back in July, Blizzard released another official statement about how the Overwatch League teams will decide the league’s state moving forward. They mentioned that if most teams do not continue under the operating agreement Blizzard gave, the latter will pay them a termination fee of $6 million. This brings the total to $114 million with the number of teams operating.
The league’s last stand also happened on Oct. 1, 2023, as the Grand Finals played for the remaining fans.
The news of the Overwatch League’s termination happened after a few teams, such as Toronto Defiant, confirmed their exits. Thus, the team can receive a hefty cancellation fee of $6 million. Furthermore, Chengdu Hunters, which was another team, already left the Overwatch League earlier this year.
It goes without saying that by then, the state of the Overwatch League was getting worse and worse. It didn’t help when Blizzard laid off around 50 employees in July. Employees shared that the saddening change was out of nowhere, while Overwatch mentioned that they are unequipped to provide further support. It was, sadly, the mark of the decline.
A Glimmer of Hope
Even with the death of the Overwatch League, Blizzard has stated that this isn’t the end of competitive Overwatch. Sean Miller, the Overwatch League commissioner, confirmed that they will remain committed to the “competitive system” in 2024.
The news happened only after Overwatch’s successful Blizzon. Popular K-pop group Le Sserafim collaborated with Overwatch in the hopes of getting fans riled up for the game, as well as its future updates. Perhaps the excitement garnered from the group’s music video will give hope in the birth of a brand new Overwatch esports scene.