After six years of hosting the Overwatch League, Blizzard has announced that it has officially come to an end. According to Blizzard, the studio is now focused on “transitioning from the Overwatch League.”
In a statement to IGN, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said the company is “evolving competitive Overwatch in a new direction.” The spokesperson continued, “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 recent announcement aligns with what Blizzard stated in a financial report earlier this year. According to the report, teams were allowed to continue in the league “under an updated operating agreement.” Those who refused to sign would be offered a $6 million payout.
The IGN report also points out that the professional scene for Overwatch will continue. Overwatch League commissioner Sean Miller had said in a statement that Blizzard is “committed to a competitive ecosystem in 2024 and beyond,” but it’s unclear what the “competitive ecosystem” will be.
The Overwatch League has always been a pivotal part of the community, so much so that the 2023 Cup was held at BlizzCon 2023. In addition, players could purchase skins based on their favorite teams in-game to show their support.
2023 has been a challenging year for Overwatch 2. When the game launched on Steam during the Summer, it received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and earlier this year, the Overwatch 2 team announced that it was scrapping its highly anticipated Hero Mode.