According to a series of tweets from the two members of the Overwatch League observation team themselves, both Jason "Alchemister" Baker and Daniel "Imagine" Tompos have been fired from Blizzard Entertainment. Both tweeted that they are now looking for freelance work.
Imagine clarified the situation further on his personal Twitter account. When asked what is going on, he replied, "People firing. Or, well, technically speaking, not having contracts renewed." Alchemister also confirmed that his job change was not his choice.
"We were called into an office and told directly, so it's not like I just found out offhand. Our manager is a great guy and I don't particularly begrudge him for any of it," Imagine went on to say. "I don't really know the reasoning of why I was not renewed and I think at this point I don't really care, need to look forward instead," he later added.
Previously, Alchemister was the lead observer for the Overwatch League. He has worked on a variety of Overwatch esports productions stretching back to the days of early release, as has Imagine. Imagine in particular, Alchemister credits with inventing how free-cam works in Overwatch.
The news of their firing appears to have taken several Blizzard employees by surprise. "I don't say this often, but what the actual f*ck??" tweeted Overwatch League caster Erik "DoA" Lonnquist. Similarly, Overwatch League host and content creator Malik Forte replied to the news with an apt "umm, what the f*ck, dude."
As of now, no other members of the Overwatch League production team have announced that their contracts are not being renewed, but Imagine's statement that people are being let go likely indicates that he and Alchemister are not the only OWL employees out of work.
Alchemister and Imagine both have extensive experience working in esports production for a variety of games. The former, for example, has worked not only with the Overwatch League, but also with ESL, ELEAGUE, and MLG. Again, they are now freelance. Their contact information can be found on their respective Twitter accounts, linked above.
Update Oct. 5, 5:30 PM CT: In response to this article, Imagine clarified that by "people firing," he was referring only to himself and Alchemister, and that he has "literally no idea what else is going on."
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Header image via @Imagine42_.