Overwatch League’s future structure remains uncertain after a report by GGRecon revealed that Activision Blizzard is discussing options with third-party tournament organisers about the esports competition in 2024.
Sources told GGRecon that ESL FACEIT Group is one of the companies that the publisher has spoken to regarding the running of its circuit in North America and Europe. Meanwhile, a continued partnership with WDG Esports for its Asian operations is being discussed, GGRecon reported.
The Overwatch League is likely to undergo significant changes at the end of its current season, with all 19 franchises set to vote on the competition’s future. According to a financial filing by Activision Blizzard, if teams do not vote to continue under an ‘updated operating agreement’, the organisation will be paid a termination fee of up to $6m (~£4.66m).
The Overwatch League has thus far been run by Activision Blizzard itself. However, earlier this year the publisher laid off up to 50 of its staff working on the company’s franchised leagues, further casting doubts on the league’s future.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the vote, GGRecon reported that multiple solutions are being discussed with tournament organisers, planning for both eventualities of the vote passing or failing. The publication also noted that it is currently unknown to what extent ESL FACEIT Group will be involved in Overwatch League if the partnership were to happen, for example, whether it’ll be white labelled.
ESL FACEIT Group is no stranger to Overwatch, with the company organising various community competitions prior to the Overwatch League’s first season in 2018.
Esports Insider has reached out to ESL FACEIT Group for further information.
Overwatch League will conclude its 2023 season later this year in Toronto, Canada at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Hosted by fellow Overwatch League franchise Toronto Defiant, the eventual champions will take home $1m (~£763,000).
Given recent information, this could be the last Overwatch League season, with another GGRecon source highlighting that at least two-thirds of the current franchise owners would need to agree on the league’s continuation for it to remain in 2024.