Overwatch League Set To Revitalize Its Scene

Overwatch League faces serious issues and has had its future put under a huge question mark; however, Activision Blizzard has plans to revitalize the scene.

The Overwatch League 2023 season has come to a close this weekend, with Florida Mayhem winning the OWL trophy with a 4-0 sweep of Houston Outlaws in what many believed to be the final Overwatch League season.

However, less than a day after the big finals, Blizzard has shared its plans to update the future of Overwatch esports with substantial changes to its format and structure.

Blizzard Has A Plan

The Overwatch League has seen better days, with the league nowadays not as popular as it once was and teams reporting significant financial losses. And while Activision Blizzard has implemented some changes to the league, things haven’t improved, and the community has started to take notice.

With the league in decline, many believe that the 2023 Overwatch League will be the final season of the professional Overwatch esports scene, but it seems the organizers have plans to revitalize the league.

“With the completion of the 2023 Overwatch League season, we will focus on building our vision of a revitalized esports program. We’re eager to share more with you as details are finalized,” read the statement from Activision Blizzard

Uncertain Future

It’s unclear what Blizzard’s plans are for the Overwatch League and how it intends to improve it, but it’s nice to see that Blizzard is not oblivious to the league’s struggles. The announcement was posted less than 24 hours following Florida Mayhem’s victory over Houston Outlaws in the finals of the Overwatch League 2023 Playoff finals, suggesting that Blizzard has had plans to change the league and its format long ago.

The statement follows many reports and statements that shed some light on the Overwatch League’s questionable future. In the summer, Blizzard put out a financial report which stated that the Overwatch franchise owners would vote on an updated agreement at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

“As previously disclosed, our collaborative arrangements for our professional esports leagues continue to face headwinds. During the second quarter, we amended certain terms of our collaborative arrangements with team entities participating in the Overwatch League. According to the amended terms, following the conclusion of the current Overwatch League season, the teams will vote on an updated operating agreement.”

“If the teams do not vote to continue under an updated operating agreement, a termination fee of $6 million will be payable to each participating team entity (total fee of approximately $114 million). As of June 30, 2023, a termination liability has not been accrued. Total revenues from the Overwatch League comprise less than 1% of our consolidated net revenues.”

It Comes Down To Teams

Teams that don’t agree and don’t intend to keep competing in the changed OWL format in 2024 and beyond would receive a $6 million termination fee. Moreover, in September, the league officials started talking to other tournament organizers about the future of the Overwatch League, but no official announcements about the vote or any agreements were made public.

Evidently, the OWL is in a rough spot now and has been for the last few years, but there is room for optimism. While Activision Blizzard’s plans are still unknown, some improvements are expected. On the other side, things could get much worse.

As recently reported, the league would need at least 2/3 of the remaining franchises to remain in the league for the Overwatch League to continue operating, which might not be the first option for some.