So that later they say that esports are sport. Today’s news makes it clear that esports is based on a product, and as such, its market mechanisms are very different from those of traditional sports.
But let’s go with the story. The team of the overwatch league China-based Chengdu Hunters has not been listed in the competition schedule announcement earlier this week, prompting rumors of the franchise’s future involvement.
Via Twitter, the Overwatch League noted that the team is “contemplating its future direction» and that he also does not have any further information about what could happen or when. Founded in 2018, the Chengdu Hunters operated under Chinese esports organization Royal Never Give Up until 2020. The franchise is owned by Chinese streaming platform HUYA. The Hunters never won the Overwatch League, however the team posted strong results in 2021, finishing in the top five in all events of the year.
Although the Overwatch League hasn’t shared any details about the team, the fact that Activision Blizzard is no longer present in China, after his deal with NetEase fell through, it certainly affects the team. However, other China-based franchises such as Hangzhou Spark, Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge will participate in the spring knockout phase.
Chengdu Hunters has not been active on social media since January 23, when the team said goodbye to fans. The reason: Overwatch 2 is no longer available in China. According to Liquipedia, two of Chengdu Hunters’ players, Mmonk and Leave, left the team to join Hangzhou Spark in early March 2023.
The Overwatch League shared the following: “We will update the community further when we have more information to share. For the upcoming spring knockout stage, there will now be six OWL teams in the eastern region and they will be joined by six qualified contending teams.”.
The Overwatch League East Region Spring Edition began on March 23, 2023, and is the first division of the newly created regional league. Activision Blizzard has made major changes to the Overwatch League format in 2023.
The new East region is also the first to incorporate a semi-franchised ecosystem, with associated and non-associated teams present in the regular season.
We’ll see how it all ends, but it seems that ATB’s dream of having a global league is fading more and more. The “home & away” matches have been impossible due to obvious logistical problems, and all the effort that was made in the second sale of seats to reach the Chinese market, now collides with a product, the basis of the competition such as Overwatch 2, which not available in region…