Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch Contenders North America is starting to look a bit dicey, over the past year concerns have been raised about the viability and infrastructure that supports the tier 2 talent. Throughout the year three different academy teams have announced they’d be dropping out of the feeder league. The academy teams for the New York Excelsior, Florida Mayhem, San Francisco Shock and now the Los Angeles Gladiators have all dropped their staff and rosters.
The Gladiator’s Legion announced recently on twitter that they had come to the difficult decision of releasing their entire staff and roster for the 2020 Contender’s season in North America.
Our Thoughts: I’m honestly that surprised given some of the rumors that have been going around about the of infrastructure for the Contenders teams. The Overwatch League itself is still in it’s infancy and working to get itself to a point of self-sufficiency. The focus needs to be on the league and I think that trying to launch and maintain a feeder league with the premiere professional league was probably a doomed prospect to start with. When you have the academy teams from the main franchises turning in their jerseys it doesn’t leave a lot of hope for the independent teams that don’t have the financial backing behind them like the New York Excelsior do, who are owned by Stirling.VC who also own the New York Mets. In a few years when the Overwatch League is reaches it’s true potential, I think Blizzard and the League should take a second look at Contenders and put some real money, effort and infrastructure into it. For now? I don’t think the Legion will be the last to fall.