The Overwatch League may be run by a third party after Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard.
The nearly $70 billion acquisition had the esports industry confused and curious about the future of Activision's biggest competitive titles, Overwatch and Call of Duty. The Overwatch League and Call of Duty League have both been rapidly declining in popularity and viewership thanks to some concerning choices behind the scenes.
Now it seems as though Microsoft has some plans for the Overwatch League, according to the Sports Business Journal. Microsoft already uses a third party to operate the so-far successful Halo Championship Series, Esports Engine.
Activision Blizzard seemed to be floundering when it came to how to properly format, schedule, and broadcast the Overwatch League. It's no surprise that djWHEAT saw the early investor proposal for the Overwatch League and begged Twitch to not get involved. It may be a good thing that Activision Blizzard won't be involved in the Overwatch League going forward as the competitive scene shifts to Overwatch 2 (if it ever comes out).
The Overwatch League has seen some major changes going into the next season. Overwatch League staples Brennon "Bren" Hook and Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson stated earlier in the week that they wouldn't be returning for the 2022 season.
This is a drastic change for Overwatch League, which has seen almost all original talent and pros leaving the scene over the past few years. But there doesn't seem to be bad blood between the iconic duo and the Overwatch League, with Sideshow saying they would still be involved with co-streams and freelance broadcasts. It's possible, however, that Sideshow and Bren didn't want to keep working for Overwatch League after learning of some upcoming changes due to the shift to Esports Engine.
For now, however, it's unclear what will change once Esports Engine is in charge of the Overwatch League.
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