Chengdu Hunters not included in Overwatch League schedule as team’s future in doubt

Chengdu Hunters on the OWL stageRobert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch League issued a statement as it released the schedule for the opening weekend of the Spring Stage about the absence of the Chengdu Hunters, saying that the team is still contemplating the “future direction of their team.”

OWL issued a statement on April 18 to address the absence of the Chengdu Hunters from the Spring Stage schedule. The league said that the team is still working on its direction and that it will update fans as more information comes through.

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“Ahead of our season start, we wanted to share with the community that the Chengdu Hunters are not included in today’s schedule announcement, as they continue to contemplate the future direction of their team,” the statement said.

The Hunters were one of the teams impacted by Overwatch 2’s shutdown in mainland China as Blizzard’s Chinese publishing partner for its titles, NetEase, failed to extend or remake its deal and the developer’s titles were discontinued across the country.

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Chengdu Hunters’ future still unknown as OWL kicks off

The Hunters’ Twitter account tweeted the day of the news, saying “Goodbye and see you again.” The team is owned and operated by HUYA Inc., which is a live-streaming platform in China.

OWL has multiple teams based out of China, including the Hangzhou Spark, Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge. All three of those teams were included in the league’s schedule, and have seemingly found a way for its players to compete in the Blizzard title before the start of competition.

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The Hunters don’t seem to be as lucky. The team currently has four players listed on its roster and lost Huang ‘leave’ Xin and Zhou ‘Mmonk’ Xiang in this year’s free agency period.

The Overwatch League is set to start on April 27 with West Region competition as the East Region begins on April 29.