The Overwatch League has denied reports that it will be taking a hiatus in 2022 as it waits for its sequel to launch.
Update August 11
After the initial news broke, a Dot Esports report revealed other season structures that have been floating around the OWL.
According to their sources, league and teams are thinking of a 2021 campaign that could be shorter than usual with a series of tournaments throughout the year. These events would either be conducted by Activision Blizzard Esports or licensed operators.
If the Overwatch 2 Beta were released in 2022, then events could be held with Overwatch League teams competing in the early build of the sequel, the report says.
There are concerns among teams and league officials with conducting another OWL season with the initial Overwatch title.
Original story follows below…
Overwatch League Vice President Jon Spector is denying reports that OWL is set to go on hiatus, calling the story inaccurate.
“We have not set nor communicated dates about our 2022 season yet but do not plan to take a ‘year-long hiatus’ in any scenario we are considering currently,” he said.
This statement does, however, imply that the league is considering further adjustments to the 2022 season.
It's really not practical to respond to every rumor about our future plans, but in this case this story is inaccurate. We have not set nor communicated dates about our 2022 season yet but do not plan to take a 'year-long hiatus' in any scenario we are considering currently. https://t.co/hDJwN2szb5
— Jon Spector (@Spex_J) August 11, 2021
The original report from GGRecon claims the league told teams that the fifth season will be delayed until late summer at the earliest, with mid-fall appearing to be the likely starting point.
With the 2021 Grand Finals taking place on September 25, this would have meant over one year would have passed before the next season begun.
The report claims that the decision to delay stemmed from Overwatch 2 and wanting teams to play the upcoming season on the sequel. However, the release status of the game is still shrouded in mystery.
A new leak has suggested that a 2022 release for Overwatch 2 is looking unlikely with the devs needing to rework a lot of existing heroes for the game’s 5v5 format.
News of the year-long break comes amid a major harassment lawsuit filed against Blizzard that has resulted in numerous sponsors dropping from the league.
Reportedly, plans for a League hiatus were communicated internally before news of the lawsuit broke, indicating that the decision is unrelated.