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Toronto Defiant Have Officially Dropped From the OWL, Receiving $6M Termination Payment

OverActive Media has announced today that it’s terminating its agreement with the Overwatch League, meaning the Toronto Defiant is no longer participating. But they are probably not the only team to go in this direction going forward.

It’s been no secret that the Overwatch League has seen better days. With low viewership and broken financial promises to franchise teams, many in the esports industry are predicting that this was the last season of the Overwatch League. This was made even more apparent when Activision Blizzard revealed that its esports endeavors were failing and the publisher was looking to save them with more game content — but it wasn’t looking promising.

Earlier this year, OWL franchise owners decided to vote on a new “operating agreement” that would allow orgs to drop out and receive a $6 million termination payment after Blizzard failed to deliver on its financial agreements. It looks like that vote may have concluded now that the Toronto Defiant are announcing an official departure with a termination payment of $6 million from Activision Blizzard.

According to a report from OverActive Media, the payment will net the company about $666K for payments paid in advance by the OWL to Toronto Defiant for a total payment of $5.34 million. This will “bolster OverActive’s cash position to over $15M” which will help them continue to realign on a new strategic focus, which includes a “new era of Overwatch esports.”

Toronto Defiant skins

It’s been rumored that ESL FACEIT Group may take over Overwatch 2 esports in 2024 but this has not been confirmed just yet. However, it seems like OverActive Media is still planning to compete in the game in some capacity which is positive news for pro Overwatch players that may be worried about what will happen after the Overwatch League shuts down.

“This strategic restructuring of our league assets marks a new chapter for OverActive,” said Adam Adamou, Co-Founder and Interim CEO, OverActive Media. “We extend our deepest thanks to the Overwatch League, its fans, and the community for their unwavering support. Toronto Defiant has proudly competed under the League’s banner, and we’ve built incredible memories together. As we transition into the next phase of Overwatch esports, we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

While the OWL may be done, Adamou stated that they are still committed to their teams, including the Toronto Defiant.

Time will tell if other esports orgs follow OverActive Media’s path and leave the Overwatch League to receive their payout.