It looks like the Overwatch League (OWL) has reached the end of its tether as a spokesperson confirms that the League will transition to a new model.
The OWL has been around since way before Overwatch 2, as the first season occurred in 2018 featuring 12 teams representing cities from across North America, Europe, and Asia. Since then, the League has expanded to 20 teams with a massive audience and tournaments set in iconic locations.
However, it seems as if all of that is about to come to an end. In a statement given to GGRecon, an OWL spokesperson reveals that competitive esports will change its shape. “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.”
This news reaches fans right after multiple teams have exited the League. Toronto Defiant has previously confirmed its exit in a press release stating that the parent company, OverActive Media, will receive a departure fee of $6 million.
Before this, Chengdu Hunters had also left the League, confirming that “the organization communicated to the League a shift in their overall strategic objectives, and we wish them well with their new direction” in a separate statement to GGRecon.
The OWL has been through some rough patches recently and has remained in limbo since a vote to update the franchise agreement means that Blizzard must find a new competitive ecosystem. It is currently expected that Overwatch Esports will contract a third-party tournament organizer, such as ESL FACEIT Group (the company behind Rocket League Esports) to plan its future.