We’ve been without LAN events for a while, and Activision Blizzard might not be bringing them back for a while.
According to a report from The Esports Observer, 50 Activision Blizzard Esports employees will be facing layoffs due to a restructuring of the division. The Call of Duty League is already well underway and the Overwatch League starts on April 16. With this in mind, Tony Petitti revealed some worrying information in an interview with TEO.
Petitti, President of Sports and Entertainment at Activision Blizzard, said that it could be online-only play that makes up most of the CDL and OWL schedule in the future. He said “We learned a lot last year in terms of how the leagues can be structured for online play, and we'll look to carry forward the best practices from that. In terms of timing, it’s a reaction to the realities of how the leagues are playing and what resources we need to allocate to serve the league, owners, teams and fans.”
COVID has undoubtedly hit the esports industry hard. But the CDL and OWL have managed to carry on, albeit in an online format. Fans wish for LAN to return as soon as possible. However, it appears that online play may be favored in the future.