Activision Blizzard Is Losing Overwatch Sponsors After Lawsuit

Activision Blizzard Is Losing Overwatch Sponsors After Lawsuit
Screenshot: Blizzard

In the wake of a lawsuit detailing a sickening culture of harassment at Activision Blizzard, the Overwatch and Call of Duty publisher is starting to bleed sponsorships. As spotted by the esports site Dexerto, T-Mobile has apparently pulled support for the professional leagues of both games.

T-Mobile has long been a sponsor for the Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues. And though the telecommunications giant hasn’t officially commented about a rift, most signs suggest one has occurred. Kotaku reached out to T-Mobile but did not hear back in time for publication.

As Dexerto points out, the websites for both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty Leagues removed reference to T-Mobile at some point in July. On July 21, both sported the T-Mobile logo. By July 31, neither did. The 20th entry period of T-Mobile’s Call of Duty sweepstakes has quietly been cancelled. What’s more, team members for the New York Subliners, a Call of Duty team, appear to have taped over the T-Mobile logo on their jerseys, which you’ve gotta admit is hilarious.

On July 20, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against Activision Blizzard, alleging a deep-seated systemic culture of abuse, sexual harassment, and discrimination. One troubling allegation (of many) made mention of a so-called “Cosby Suite,” a possible hotbed of misconduct at BlizzCon 2013. Last week, employees at Activision Blizzard’s campus in Irvine, CA, held a walkout; many more participated virtually in the interest of staying safe in the era of covid-19.

Read More: Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed

Earlier today, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack formally stepped down from his position. He’ll be replaced by two co-leads: Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, both of whom have been with the company for less than two years. For what it’s worth, Ybarra attended last week’s walkout. That said, both statements issued by Brack and Blizzard notably failed to address the serious allegations levied at the company.

It’s unclear if other top-billed sponsors plan to pull out of Activision Blizzard’s esports endeavours. Kotaku reached out to various sponsors of the Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues. At press time, none had responded.

Comments

  • I hope they lose a lot more. Yet sadly it has to impact all the innocent people who work on these things, and no doubt impact the teams themselves, but this is what happens when you dont solve a problem and you dont decide to join the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

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