Four Pro Gaming Teams Drop Overwatch In One Week

It's been a gnarly handful of days for the professional Overwatch scene. Since last Tuesday, four organisations have dropped their Overwatch teams, citing a lack of certainty about Blizzard's upcoming Overwatch League and potentially prohibitive costs they will have to pay in order to join it.

Today, esports organisation compLexity bid farewell to their Overwatch team with a statement (via PVP Live):

"Anticipation of Blizzard's upcoming Overwatch League and an uptick in mainstream esports attention means that now more than ever, we have to be confident we're making the best investments in each game," they wrote. "The decision to part ways with long-term members of our organisation is never one that we take lightly, but ongoing roster instability has resulted in inconsistent performances in an already narrow field of events."

They added that their former team will be able to continue using team house facilities for two months, so as to "provide what sense of stability that we can".

They're not the first to release an Overwatch team in the past seven days. Team SoloMid, another esports heavy hitter, backed out on May 5. Former player Taylor "b1am" Forrest said they just put the finishing touches on their player roster, but claimed that the cost of entry into Overwatch League is too steep for TSM to go all-in right now.

Red Reserve also bid a resigned farewell to their team on May 5, saying that not all is well on the European front. "Due to Overwatch remaining a relatively small esports title in Europe compared to the North American and Asian esports scene, the decision came to put our focus in different titles such as CS: GO, Call of Duty, and Fifa," they wrote. "Whether or not we will continue in the Overwatch scene is yet to be decided as the esports scene is ever growing, but for now, this ends our run for Overwatch."

Denial Esports kicked off the trend last Tuesday, dropping their team with little in the way of an explanation.

This all comes in close proximity to a report alleging that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross have both purchased Overwatch League spots for, potentially, millions of dollars. If true, that would put a lot of esports organisations in a tight spot, if not an outright untenable one.

For the moment, Blizzard isn't making any concrete announcements, but they did tell PVP Live that they "are in active discussions with teams and owners from endemic esports as well as traditional sports". We'll see where that all goes... eventually. Overwatch League is set to launch sometime later this year, but there's no exact date yet.


Comments

    Wait teams have to pay blizzard money to enter tournaments? I would of thought it would be the other way round seeing as they're generating interest and thus revenue for them.

      It's like any sport, you need to buy a spot to play, $2M to $15M depending on the location. The team would make the money back through sponsorship and merch.

        When your sport is young, & has nothing to show for will it succeed or will it flop?
        for example league of legends spots werent bought & sold, until their league was successfull enough, but to ask a team to pay 5M$ to buy a spot in the first season of their league is just stupid, no one is going to risk that kind of money for a young league of a new game.

      Most tournaments of any sports have entry fees. Even non sport things like art exhibitions have entry fees.

    This is what happens when a game is built with the sole intent of wanting it to become an esport- the moneygrubbing gets in the way of making the game the right way, and it just doesn't work.
    Every team should quit overwatch altogether and focus on verified esports- the ones that were just games, that were then discovered to have genuine competitive value.

    Focusing solely on potentially making billions of dollars before the game's first line of code is written, is not how you make an esport. Blizzard must learn this. Overwatch is an animal that was destined to suffer from day one and should be humanely put down.

      Dawn of war 3 fell into the same problem, decided they wanted it to be a huge epsort so they designed it as such and ended up with a pretty mediocre game that not alot of people want to play.

    So do you hate all shooters or just Overwatch. everything you said is false on so many levels it does not require any more detail. This isn't 1998 anymore (based on your comments I assume you were peak game age around then). games have to be competitive to survive or people (most anyway) won't play them.

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