Several worrying reports about the future of Overwatch 2 and the Overwatch League have emerged. Some of them go as far as claiming that the next esports season may be delayed by as much as a year because of the current Blizzard turmoil. A Blizzard spokesperson quickly made an announcement.
Blizzard Quickly Responded: A Long Hiatus Is Highly Unlikely
The most concerning report came from GGRecon, where people suggested that the next OWL season may be delayed to the third or fourth quarter of 2022. This claim got a lot of esports fans to panic, and because of that, Overwatch League’s vice president Jon Spector had to make an official statement to correct that rumor. Spector confirmed that plans for OWL’s following season were still in the works but said that a year-long hiatus was never an option.
The main reason for the uncertainty surrounding OWL’s upcoming season is the development of Overwatch 2. The successor to Blizzard’s highly famous shooter title was expected to be released toward the beginning of 2022. However, this no longer seems possible as the development is taking more time than initially planned. Therefore it is possible that the game wouldn’t release until 2023, meaning the Overwatch League will continue playing the first iteration.
This will bring a new set of problems as investors have been slowly losing interest in Overwatch. The game has been on the market for several years, and its esports scene is far from fresh. However, there is still some hope, as sources informed DotEsports that it is possible to see smaller Overwatch 2 events if the game releases a beta stage early enough.
Turbulent Times for the Big Company
Activision Blizzard has been involved in some serious trouble recently. The company fell under scrutiny numerous times in the last few months.
Some of the disgruntlement concerned the sorry state of Warcraft III: Reforged that was released in January 2020. Then, this year, the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, was critiqued for receiving a disproportionately large salary while dismissing more than 200 workers.
If that wasn’t enough, Activision Blizzard now has to deal with a lawsuit by the California Department for Fair Employment and Housing because of the alleged mistreatment of female workers. The lawsuit caused quite some people to turn their backs on the company, including some valuable sponsors. State Farm, IBM, and Kellogg’s all ceased their sponsorship.
Additionally, Blizzard has already been critiqued because of the high fees it charges for OWL brands – the company charged $20 million in the first year and $30 million in the second. Because of the pandemic, the company had to allow teams to postpone their payments.
Blizzard has previously dealt with trouble. However, tackling all issues at once will surely be challenging and most likely will affect the release date of Overwatch 2 and the state of the next OWL season.