Overwatch League delays free agency period as Chinese teams face uncertain future

Earlier this week, Blizzard Entertainment broke the information to Chinese followers that a few of their favourite titles, like Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft, will not be accessible within the future because of a damaged partnership with NetEase. For almost 15 years, the take care of NetEase allowed Blizzard to publish titles in mainland China, however these days could also be over. 

Further problems from this example have apparently arisen for the Overwatch League, which has 4 Chinese teams in its East Region division as nicely a fifth staff run by a Chinese operator.  

Sean Miller, head of the Overwatch League, knowledgeable followers on Nov. 18 that the league’s free agency period would now start on Dec. 2 as a substitute of the previously-announced date of Nov. 19. This delays the period wherein teams can start signing free brokers, of which there are almost 90 only a few weeks into the offseason. 

“Due to the latest regional licensing updates, we’re delaying the start of the free agency period to [Dec. 2] to afford our teams and players additional time to prepare for the 2023 season,” Miller mentioned in a Twitter put up. “This does not impact other current 2023 plans, which we look forward to sharing at a later date.” 

Other particulars weren’t instantly shared, however the reference to “regional licensing” clearly factors to the break between NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment. Sales of video games like Overwatch 2 have been halted in China and gamers may even see their entry taken away someday quickly, together with skilled gamers. 

One of the Overwatch League’s championship teams, the Shanghai Dragons, is owned and operated by NetEase. No data has been introduced as to how the break between Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase will have an effect on the staff. 

The league has three different Chinese teams—the Guangzhou Charge, Chengdu Hunters, and Hangzhou Spark—that may possible be impacted by this example. LinGan e-Sports, a Chinese firm, additionally operates the Los Angeles Valiant, which moved to China in 2021. 

This two-week delay in signing free brokers will possible give Chinese teams an opportunity to evaluate their plans for 2023. Chinese free brokers, who could also be going through a whole lack of sport entry that might have an effect on scrimmages and trials with teams, may even have two extra weeks to give you options or wait out different choices from Blizzard.

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