OWL gives update on state of the league following playoffs

Declan Mclaughlin
OWL bands on the hands of two attendees

OWL has issued a statement on social media about the state of the league following the conclusion of the 2023 playoffs.

The Overwatch League is presumably ending this year following the conclusion of the 2023 season. The league has been rumored to fold thanks to the controversies surrounding Activision Blizzard, the company’s acquisition by Microsoft, company esports division layoffs, tanking viewership, and executive statements about the esports league.

Activision Blizzard revealed in a 2023 quarterly earnings report that OWL teams will vote on a new operating agreement after the conclusion of the 2023 season. This new agreement will allow teams to opt out of the league, and receive a $6 million payment on their way out. For the league to continue operating under the new agreement, two-thirds of the current teams will have to vote to stay, according to a report from GGRecon.

Esports organizations, however, may be incentivized to take the payment and leave Overwatch entirely. Multiple reports have detailed how organizations in the OWL have failed to pay their original franchise payments in full, and have also been heavily impacted by the economic slowdown hitting the esports industry commonly referred to as the ‘esports winter.’

The 2023 season concluded this past weekend, with the Florida Mayhem lifting potentially the final Overwatch League trophy by defeating the Houston Outlaws 4-0 in the Grand Final.

OWL gives update on league future over social media

A day after the conclusion of the 2023 season, the league released a statement about the future of the league on social media.

“With the completion of the 2023 Overwatch league season, we will be focusing on building our vision of a revitalized esports program. We’re eager to share more with you as details are finalized,” the league said.

Overwatch esports seems to be here to stay, presumably with massive changes. The league has reportedly been in talks with third-party tournament organizers, like ESL FACEIT Group, about the future of Overwatch esports and potentially running a league circuit in North America and Europe.

However, those talks are still in the early days as the vote over the future of OWL has not yet come to pass.

Fans of the esport should learn what the future holds for Overwatch in the coming months as high-level decisions are made about the league and its competition.