David Hollingsworth

David Hollingsworth

David has written for games media outlets for the last seven years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist.

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Overwatch League Talent Asked to Take Paycuts Leading to Recent Talent Exodus

Overwatch League
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It's been a weird few weeks for the Overwatch League. Most notably, we've seen several high profile talents leave the scene to go freelance. And it looks like we now know the reason.

According to a report by Richard Lewis for Dexerto, prominent members of the OWL broadcast had been asked to take pay cuts ahead of the seasons very hectic homestand season.

So far we’ve seen Chris Puckett, Erik "DoA" Lonnquist, Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles and most recently Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat and Malik Forté leave the OWL team.

It also looks like changes to the top of the Activision Blizzard chain of command saw a different vision for the future of the OWL. This factor is another reason for the mass exodus.

The report goes on the day that Nate Nanzer's departure was a major factor. This is something Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles expressed issue with in his parting statement. “The departure of Nate Nanzer from OWL led to irreconcilable creative and philosophical differences between myself and the league’s current leadership, and all parties will be better served by parting ways.”

While the pay cuts seem to have gained momentum ahead of Season 3, it's also reported that this was raised as far back the start of Season 2. This was despite the League's claims of Season 1 exceeding all expectations.

Season 3 will see the OWL go on the road. Broadcast talent will be following the league around the world as the game moves away from its studio in California to stadiums and locations across the globe. With that factor on top of the pay cuts proposed, talent held firm and led the OWL.

A Bad Look For The League

With Season 3 fast approaching, the full year's schedule not finalized and talent leaving. You have to say it's not a great look for the franchised league. Only time will tell what all this means for the long term health of the league. But losing this much talent right before a season starts is far from ideal.

It might mean the scene brings up talent from the Contenders competition, maybe talent is hired on a per-event basis. Regardless, it's a bad look for fans and investors in the league. Its definitely the sort of press you could probably do without.

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