Former professional Overwatch player turned streamer Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel was blindsided on stream by the shock announcement by his Overwatch Contenders team, Gladiators Legion, stating the team would not be competing in 2020.
xQc’s beginnings in the esports and streaming space were through his endeavors in professional Overwatch. He has participated in the Overwatch World Cup multiple times representing Canada, and even played in the Overwatch League.
He’s toned back his playing commitments in recent months, but he was still on the Los Angeles Gladiators academy team, Gladiators Legion, for the 2019 season.
However, he was dropped from the team in surprising fashion, with the team posting their departure from Overwatch Contenders on Twitter, without notifying him.
After checking out Reddit nearing the end of his December 4 stream, the French-Canadian streamer’s attention was drawn to a post on /r/competitiveoverwatch, highlighting the end of Gladiators Legion.
“What does that mean,” he asked his chat, wrapping his head around the decision. “Does that mean I lose my job? Did I just get fired?”
xQc was a substitute for Gladiators Legion in 2019, after being removed from the Overwatch League in 2018 by Dallas Fuel. He was then picked up by the Sentinels-owned academy team, and streams under their banner, but had no knowledge of his pro team’s departure from the scene.
While his substitute spot on the Overwatch Contenders team is unlikely to be xQc’s big money-maker, he was still invested in the team. Even if he wasn’t on the starting roster, finding out over Twitter shocked the streamer.
“Okay, well, that happened I guess,” he said. “I didn’t even know. I hadn’t been told, I could have prepared for this in some way or another, f*ck man.”
There are a number of factors behind the decision to cut the Gladiators academy team. Whether it was expenditure-wise, or the restructuring of Contenders, it’s unlikely people will ever know the full reason. xQc doesn’t want to blame the people behind the academy team though, saying it could have been out of their hands.
An update on our participation in Contenders for 2020. pic.twitter.com/ThSOAl7Gfq
— Gladiators Legion (@GLALegion) December 5, 2019
“I don’t want to blame them though — maybe they didn’t know themselves and it was a late decision,” he said.
The Gladiators Legion are the fourth Overwatch League academy team to pull out of Overwatch Contenders in 2019. NRG Esports, the San Francisco Shock academy team, pulled out in early 2019, with Mayhem Academy getting dropped shortly after.
XL2 Academy, run by the New York Excelsior, also departed the space at the end of the 2019 season. Both XL2 Academy and the Gladiators Legion made the Overwatch Contenders global finals, also known as the Gauntlet, in October of this year.
All players from the Gladiators Legion have become free agents in light of the decision, except for xQc, who is undecided on whether he wants to return to competitive Overwatch or not.