Overwatch League still in search of sponsors for season 5

Last updated:

The next season of the Overwatch League begins in less than two months, but still lacks any sponsors. That’s according to a report by The Washington Post which says that the first large, in-person event for the league since early 2020, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas is still in search of big corporate sponsors for the event.

Warning: This post describes a company currently accused of sexual assault, harassment. It also mentions a victim of suicide. Reader discretion is advised.

This is a situation the league has found itself in after huge moneyed brands like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and State Farm pulled out last year. That’s when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing that turned up many stories of women suffering harassment, discrimination and abuse at Activision Blizzard, the publisher and developer of Overwatch.

The allegations are far-reaching, occurring from top to bottom throughout the company at both the level of the publisher and at the development studio level. To summarize everything that’s come out since them would take an entire new article orn two, but just two weeks ago, a lawsuit was brought by the family of an employee who died by suicide. The suit alleges that it was sexual harassment at the company that drove the employee to take her life.

And while The Post reports that none of these companies would confirm if their decisions last year had anything to do with the abovementioned allegations or the lawsuit that the California Department has filed in relation to them, none have any plans of resuming sponsorship deals with the league this year.

The Overwatch League claim that there “ongoing discussions” happening with corporate partners, including “potential new ones.” But its very likely that companies are hesitant about having their brand and name in the same spotlight as Activision Blizzard’s.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Comcast, the telecom giant that owns Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion said that they won’t be sponsoring this season either. Last season, Comcast’s Xfinity was the official Internet service provider for the league.

A lot is hanging on this season of Overwatch League. This season’s Dallas-Houston match-up represents one of the few true rivalries that can drive an esport. Nicknamed “The Battle for Texas,” it represents the aspirations of the league to ensconce itself into the mainstream consciousness.

Meanwhile, Sean Miller, head of Overwatch League at Activision Blizzard eSports deflects any anxiety or concern. “Our plans for the season have been in the works for some time now. And we look to amplify those plans, obviously, with any potential partner,” Miller said. “We want, as a league, for live events to happen as much as we can. And we’ll work with the teams to make it happen where it’s appropriate.”