Overwatch

Overwatch League VP apologizes after backlash over OWL talent comments

by Joe O'Brien
Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch League vice president Jon Spector has issued an apology after he faced backlash for comments he made about the league’s talent.

In an interview with ESPN during the Overwatch League Season 3 launch weekend, Spector stated that the league “couldn’t be happier” with the talent line-up for the year, describing those signed on as casters and analysts as people who “live and breathe Overwatch.”

The statement came after several changes to the talent line-up for Season 3, with some of the league’s biggest names like Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles, Erik ‘DoA’ Lonnquist, Auguste ‘Semmler’ Massonat, and Chris Puckett all departing.

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There had already been rumors that the split may not have been entirely amicable between all parties, but it seems the implicit suggestion that those who have left the league did not ‘live and breathe’ the game was not taken kindly by the former commentators, with MonteCristo stating that the league was simply attempting to “cover-up their own poor management and decisions at the expense of people who put everything they had into the league.”

In the wake of the backlash, Spector has now issued a statement in which he apologized for his original comments and clarified his meaning.

Former Overwatch League caster MonteCristo stares to the side during an esports broadcast
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
MonteCristo left Overwatch League citing creative differences.

"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.

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"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."

The 2020 season sees the Overwatch League move into its new ‘homestand’ format for the first time, with teams now hosting matches in their own cities rather than all games being played from the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. The opening weekend saw New York and Dallas host the first games of the season, with Philadelphia set to host the second weekend on February 15-16.