After dedicating years of their lives to the Overwatch scene, esports talent and former Overwatch League casters Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles and Auguste ‘Semmler’ Massonnat lashed out at comments from the new Vice President of the league.
While the Overwatch League returned on February 8 after a four-month offseason, it did so without a number of familiar faces both on the desk and on the commentary team, including Monte and Semmler.
Numerous members of the broadcasts revealed throughout the offseason that they would not be returning for the third year. After hearing comments from the new OWL VP, Jon Spector, during the 2020 opening weekend, however, they fired back, slamming Blizzard for its handling of the league.
Previously hitting out at the league’s new commissioner Pete Vlastelica, Monte pulled no punches when taking aim at the league’s Vice President this time around.
Throughout an interview with ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Spector admitted the league “couldn’t be happier” with its current set of casters, hosts and analysts alike. “We feel really good about the lineup we’ve put together,” he added.
Listing newcomers to the talent lineup for 2020, one particular comment appeared to rustle feathers as Spector labeled new additions as individuals who “live and breathe Overwatch.”
Responding to the statement, Semmler threw his own version of a quote from Blizzard into the mix, insinuating his was the more accurate reflection of the company’s outlook: "People who specialized in our game that we can lowball thanks to our monopolistic hold on the scene and/or their dependence on us for visas."
"People who live and breath this game" = "people who specialized in our game that we can lowball thanks to our monopolistic hold on the scene and/or their dependence on us for visas" https://t.co/I6ufwNcMD2
— Semmler (@OnFireSemmler) February 9, 2020
Following up, Monte chimed in with a lengthy response to the interview outlining how he had been involved behind the scenes “before the game was even released.”
“I spent years of my life grinding tape, visiting team houses, producing my own content, and casting OW from Apex Season 1,” he said, highlighting how he has in fact, lived and breathed Overwatch longer than any other on-air talent.
“What OWL is doing right now is attempting to cover-up their own poor management and decisions at the expense of people who put everything they had into the league.”
“I would let this be a lesson to other people who consider working with OWL that this is how you get treated on the way out. There is no loyalty, there is no appreciation, there is no integrity," he added.
I can say that @ggDoA and I began speaking with Blizzard before the game OW was even released and we have always been incredibly passionate about the title.
I spent years of my life grinding tape, visiting team houses, producing my own content, and casting OW from Apex Season 1. https://t.co/f5hJmYAoIh
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) February 9, 2020
Evidently bridges have been burnt between those operating the league and former on-air talent. While Monte recently announced his new venture with Cloud9 and Semmler returned to CSGO, the duo have not shied away from airing their thoughts on Blizzard’s treatment of the OW scene since their departure.
Update: 10/02 - 2PM
After Dexerto reached out to Blizzard for a response, Overwatch League Vice President Jon Spector apologized for his comments and further clarified his statement.
“I want to apologize for my comments yesterday. I did not intend to slight anyone, but I failed to provide some important context before answering a question about my excitement for our 2020 talent lineup. I’d like to offer the context now that I should’ve provided yesterday.
“We are proud of our 2018 and 2019 broadcasts, and we feel great about our lineup this season. We’re incredibly thankful for all of the talented voices that worked to launch the first two seasons of the Overwatch League. We would not be where we are today without your work--thank you all for living and breathing Overwatch and supporting our League since the beginning.”