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Published: August 12, 2021

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • According to various reports, OWL’s next season is facing a delay
  • This will coincide with the postponed release of Overwatch 2
  • Activision Blizzard has been experienced various problems that add up to the situation

Overwatch 2’s delay and the other issues Blizzard is facing will likely affect the next season of the Overwatch League. 

Possible Delays for Overwatch 2 and OWL’s next season

According to various reports, the next season of the Overwatch League might be delayed. While it is unlikely that fans will experience a “year-long hiatus,” as some rumors suggested, it is definitely true that Overwatch’s parent company Activision Blizzard is going through some difficult times. This will probably affect the release of the game’s next iteration, Overwatch 2, and by extension, the next competitive OWL season. 

The biggest current problem is the state of Overwatch 2. While the game was initially planned to release around the start of 2022, it is now facing a serious delay that may not see the game on the market until 2023. 

Both teams and investors have been losing steam as Overwatch’s first edition has grown old. With fewer prospects of a fresh esports scene, interest has dramatically dropped. 

Considering those concerns, GGRecon reported that the next season of the OWL might be delayed for the second half of 2022 or even later. However, this was quickly proven to be wrong as the vice president of the league, Jon Spector quickly corrected the faulty report. 

Spector said that plans for the next season are indeed incomplete, but that doesn’t mean by any way that such a long hiatus was ever planned. 

It is unknown how things may unfold. Sources suggested to DotEsports that it is possible that the next season will not be delayed but will be shorter and that there might be some beta Overwatch 2 events if the game reaches the beta state quickly enough. According to the sources, nothing can be said for sure before the current season ends on September 25. 

The Issues Blizzard is Facing

Things haven’t been easy for Activision Blizzard, and that surely affects the OWL as well. 

The league has long been subject to criticism because of its excessively high franchise fees – for example, OWL had a $20 million fee for its first season and $30 million for the following. 

The pandemic worsened the situation as it brought several OWL teams to apply for financial help from the government. To relieve their struggle, Activision Blizzard also permitted teams to delay paying their fees.

Another difficulty that Blizzard is facing is the ongoing lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The case is based on accusations against Blizzard employees adopting a “frat boy” culture and mistreating female workers. Because of this, the company lost some of its valuable sponsors, such as Kellogg’s, State Farm, and IBM.  

With all things in mind, it is clear that Activision Blizzard is not having it easy and that the rumored delays are indeed probable. However, we are yet to see their extent. 

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