| Tags: Overwatch
| Author Joseph Shay
OWL: Chengdu Hunters Not in Spring Knockout Stage
The Chengdu Hunters choose not to participate in the first stage of the 2023 season.
Six OWL teams and six Contenders teams will make up the East Region for at least the first stage.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) April 18, 2023
With both Xin “leave” Huang and Xiang “Mmonk” Xhou leaving the team in early March, the Hunters have sat on only a four person roster for over a month. Whether the organization is considering disbanding in full, or is just waiting for management decisions on how they want to operate is unclear. Along with being a Chinese team, meaning access to servers in order to play the game is difficult, this doesn't make participating easy for them. The hope now is that they are able to participate in the second half of the season and beyond.
The East region will now consist of an even twelve teams with six of them being Overwatch League teams, and the other six being Contenders teams. This gives Contenders just a slight chance more to have a team or two qualify for the first tournament of this season. The regions will no longer be split 13/13, but that won't really effect the way the league functions this season. There are still great, high level teams left for the East Region to rely on, including the Dallas Fuel who were announced to be moving over to the region last month.