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Overwatch League Future In Doubt After Recent Activision Blizzard Financial Report

Layoffs among esports staff and an upcoming vote could spell the end of the OWL.


Activision Blizzard released its Q2 2023 financial report today, and among the news of acquisition deal restructuring and record figures for Blizzard thanks to Diablo IV were a few details about the future of the Overwatch League. Unfortunately, none of them paint a positive picture of the league's future.

The financial report details an upcoming vote regarding the future of the league, where each team can vote to continue the league "under an updated operating agreement. If the vote fails, according to the report, "a termination fee of $6 million will be payable to each participating team entity (total fee of approximately $114 million)."

Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2

Meanwhile, The Verge has confirmed layoffs in the Activision Blizzard esports department, which have impacted "around 50 employees." The layoffs came with no warning, according to one affected ex-employee who wished to remain anonymous, who told The Verge they were a "complete shock to everyone," while adding that none of those who were laid off were given the chance to switch to a different team within the company.

The financial report and layoffs follow the exit of the China-based Chendgu Hunters from the league--which was confirmed in June by esports outlet GGRecon--after the game's servers were among those shut down in the country this past January.

"The Chengdu Hunters have exited the Overwatch League," a league representative told GGRecon, who also stated "the organization communicated to the League a shift in their overall strategic objectives, and we wish them well with their new direction."

The vote on whether to continue the Overwatch League is slated to take place "following the conclusion of the current Overwatch League season." The 2023 Grand Finals, according to the league's official website, are currently scheduled for October 1-2.

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