Blizzard Entertainment have recently confirmed that the fifth competitive season of the Overwatch League will start in April 2022.
Jon Spector, the Overwatch League VP at Blizzard, has confirmed the date of the season start in his Twitter post:
I've seen a lot of speculation regarding a 2022 start date for OWL. We can confirm that our plan is to begin next season in April 2022. We will share more details about 2022 roster construction timelines soon and more info generally on our 2022 season as we get closer to April.
— Jon Spector (@Spex_J) September 3, 2021
He also importantly confirmed the rumor that the league will be using an early build of Overwatch 2.
Blizzard’s legacy and legal issues
Blizzard was founded 30 years ago in 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse. It is currently headquartered in Irvine, California.
A subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the company is known to millions of gamers around the world for its best-selling video game franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch series.
After the long-term investigation, California authorities have recently filed a lawsuit against the company for gender-based discrimination.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing stated that long standing harassment of women was taking place inside the company’s offices. Blizzard replied that it is constantly fighting all sorts of discrimination and denied all accusations.
Overwatch League and Overwatch 2
Besides some recent monetization issues, such as the absence of LAN events, and also the deterioration of viewership statistics, and the lack of revenue growth, the investors are also seriously concerned about the fact that Overwatch League is constantly losing its sponsors.
The recent meeting of the participants of the OWL has revealed some interesting details of the upcoming announcements.
It is said that Blizzard has scheduled the release of Overwatch 2 before Summer 2022. The American video game developer is obviously acting under the pressure from league members, who are deeply unsatisfied with the current situation in the esports franchise.
The NA company is set to stop implementing new features and functionality to the current game version, concentrating primarily on bug-fixing, infrastructure maintenance and user support, while accelerating the development process and the release of the next version of the title.
The developers have previously confirmed that at least the televised competitions will transition to the 5v5 mode instead of the previous 6v6. It is quite predictable due to the new maps architectural changes and the mixed reaction caused by the gameplay impressions and the overall watchability of the esports title.
It is said that the OWL’s investors are also wary of the fact that the current pace of the new game’s development will inevitably affect and even further delay the start of the new competitive season. There are some justified rumors that Blizzard may not even make it by 2022.