Thursday, 14 November 2019

Sources: Gladiators Legion Are To Consider Leaving Overwatch Contenders

Written By Arran "Halo" Brown

The Los Angeles Gladiators are considering whether to withdraw Gladiators Legion from Overwatch Contenders and become the second Overwatch League team this offseason to announce they are taking a hiatus from the scene, sources have told haloofthoughts.

The decision by the Gladiators comes after the New York Excelsior announced that XL2 was going on hiatus from Contenders North America on Monday and will mean that the fate of the current Gladiators Legion roster is currently undecided, multiple sources have confirmed.

The potential move comes after it was previously rumoured during the 2019 Contenders season, that Blizzard was to enforce a new rule which stated that all Overwatch League teams were to have academy rosters.

Sources have stated that those Overwatch League franchises with teams in Contenders, are currently reviewing their academy's and evaluate whether their running cost is worth the financial rewards they receive for participating in Contenders. Some academies are also rumoured to be withdrawing from Contenders due to the cost of the player housing and homestand costs the Overwatch League teams are now financially responsible for. As a result, more academy teams are likely to be withdrawn from Contenders before next season.

Haloofthoughts reached out to Gladiators Legion and received the following response from Senior Vice President & Team Operations manager of Kronke Sports & Entertainment Alex Rubens 'We haven't made any decision to put Gladiators Legion on hiatus. When it comes to cost, Gladiators housing and Homestand expenses have nothing to do with our decision to operate a Contenders team. That being said, at this moment, we see little competitive advantage to operating a Contenders team under Blizzard's current guidance. Should Blizzard make the environment beneficial to teams to remain competitive, we'll continue to support Contenders as we always have.'

If the Gladiators Legion and other academy teams leave Contenders, it will be a huge blow to those players currently playing in professional Overwatch's second tier, considering that most players felt that Blizzards Path to Pro model was already past broken. With most players not being paid to play in Contenders at the current time, multiple sources have told that there are players considering their opinions as to whether or not Overwatch is the best game for them to turn professional in now.

While it is currently unclear how many academy teams will remain for the 2020 Contenders season, it will change the current landscape of the tier two scene, potentially for the worse.

(You can find more Overwatch League related content on Twitter @haloofthoughts
(Picture Credit: Blizzard Ent & the Los Angeles Gladiators)

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