Blizzard Entertainment has refuted a report that the Overwatch League will take a year-long hiatus between the end of Season 4 and the start of Season 5.
“It’s really not practical to respond to every rumor about our future plans, but in this case this story is inaccurate,” Overwatch League vice president Jon Spector tweeted Wednesday. “We have not set nor communicated dates about our 2022 season yet but do not plan to take a ‘year-long hiatus’ in any scenario we are considering currently.”
GGRecon’s Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch reported that multiple sources within the OWL said the league office has informed teams that Season 5 will be delayed beyond the typical start time during the first half of next year.
According to the report, the sources indicated the fifth season would start in the late summer of 2022 at the earliest and more likely in the mid-fall. Following Spector’s tweet, GGRecon stood by its report, saying the reason being given to teams is the delayed launch of Overwatch 2, which the OWL wants to compete on in Season 5.
The launch of Overwatch 2 reportedly could be delayed until late 2022 or 2023.
GGRecon reported that some teams have already informed some players that contracts will not be renewed due to the lack of competitions between seasons.
However, DOTEsports.com Jacob Wolff reported later Wednesday that the OWL is still “assessing its options” for next year. That includes potentially extending the offseason following Season 4 and adding interim events that could include non-season-based tournaments.
According to Wolff, league officials and team owners are concerned about the declining interest in the original Overwatch along with low returns on investment if the OWL continues to compete on the current version.
Specific plans for Season 5 are not expected to be finalized until closer to the end of Season 4. The Grand Finals are scheduled for Sept. 25.
–Field Level Media