Evil Geniuses and Team LDLC Drop Out of Overwatch
Two more teams have dropped out of Overwatch’s competitive circuit. Evil Geniuses and Team LDLC have announced that they have both left after a pair of underwhelming performances during the Overwatch Contenders tournament. Most players on both teams will now enter free agency. Only Guillame “KabaL” Ettore will stick around in the Team LDLC organization. Players will hope to be drafted onto another Contenders team or into the premier Overwatch League.
Evil Geniuses CEO Peter Dager said, “It’s unfortunate to see guys going, but I’m excited to see what is next for them as they grow along with Overwatch. Talented and passionate players have always found homes here at EG and this team was full of them. I wish all the guys the best of luck as they embark on the next journey of their eSports careers.”
Team LDLC announced that the contracts of its players expired at the end of June and will not be renewed. In LDLC’s statement, they said the decision is based somewhat on, “the strategic choice of Blizzard Entertainment, which don’t help clubs like ours to continue to invest in this game.”
Huge Costs a Detriment
Blizzard created Contenders Season Zero as a sort of preseason for the premier Overwatch League. The plan was for teams from around the league to use the preseason as a sort of scouting endeavor, but it has had unexpected consequences. The preseason has forced a number of eSports teams to leave the tournament’s scene entirely. One of the main issues has been that several teams are struggling to get a franchise spot in the Overwatch League. This is due in some part to the cost. It was reported back in May that a franchise may cost as much as $20 million.
Blizzard has been accused of failing to act when it comes to helping endemic eSports teams. In fact, the only franchises currently with spots in the league are actually a pair of National Football League franchises, the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. Other eSports outfits that have dropped out of the Overwatch scene are Ninjas in Pajamas, Red Reserve, Splyce, Team Solomid, Fnatic, CompLexity and Denial ESports.
Both Could Return
Fortunately, neither Evil Geniuses nor Team LDLC has ruled out returning to Overwatch at some time in the future. Statements from both sides essentially say that they will be keeping an eye on things and looking for potential opportunities to hop back on the bandwagon eventually. Of course, Blizzard may have to make an effort to meet in the middle if it doesn’t want to chase all of its endemic eSports clubs away.
The lack of Overwatch events makes it difficult to justify the hefty price tags teams must pay in order to compete. Essentially, Blizzard is killing Overwatch from the inside. Blizzard plans to release a statement revealing concrete details about the Overwatch League some time soon.
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