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The Overwatch League Has Ended — What's Next?

The Overwatch League is no more, insiders have shared.

After Toronto Defiant’s parent company, OverActive Media, announced that they were exiting the OWL and getting a $6 million termination fee, it was confirmed that the teams have come to an agreement about the Overwatch League behind the scenes. At this point, the Overwatch League has just had the sixth and final season.

Now, the news has been confirmed.

Is the Overwatch League Ending?

In a statement to The Verge, Overwatch League’s PR manager John Nomis stated: “We are transitioning from the Overwatch League and evolving competitive Overwatch in a new direction.”

Nomis continued to state that the team has been grateful for everyone “who made OWL possible” and reiterated that the Overwatch esports scene is not being forgotten. But we still don’t know what will be in store for competitive Overwatch.

Said Nomis: “We are excited to share details with you all in the near future.”

This is sadly not shocking news for the esports industry, even fans of the OWL. The league was slowly dying before everyone’s eyes thanks to a lot of questionable decisions from Activision Blizzard. This included some troubles with the global health pandemic, finding sponsors, switching to YouTube for streaming, and some problems with China’s participation near the end.

Throughout it all, we saw layoffs from Blizzard’s esports side and witnessed teams like the Chengdu Hunters drop out. As it continued to spiral out of control, fans heard the news that the teams would be voting on what happens next with the Overwatch League due to broken financial promises.

For teams to participate in the OWL, they had to pay between $20 million to $30 million. The teams were told they’d make the money back through sales, sponsorships, and other avenues. Unfortunately, this never happened due to low viewership and Blizzard’s ongoing internal issues.

While the Overwatch League is no more, the teams have continued to reiterate that this isn’t forever. Even OverActive Media stated that Toronto Defiant was not being let go and they were focused on a “return to Overwatch esports.” For now, the teams and their fans are anxiously awaiting what comes next.