Milo W. November 15, 2018
Toronto Esports has abruptly withdrawn from competitive Overwatch following a Twitter row aimed the city’s new Overwatch League team.
The organization was informed by Blizzard that it would need to change the name of its Overwatch team, Toronto Uprising, during the middle of third season of Contenders. Toronto Esports stated the reason was the new OWL team representing Toronto had purchased “exclusive naming rights.” Blizzard Blizzard informed Toronto Esports they had six weeks to rebrand themselves. The group refused and soon after announced their departure from Overwatch in a bitter Twitter statement.
“We will be leaving Overwatch effective immediately. Good riddance,” Toronto Esports said.
Toronto Esports dates back to before the Overwatch League’s launch, having been founded by physician Ryan Pallett in 2016. The organization partnered with Boston Uprising owner company Kraft Group to establish the Toronto Uprising team, which would rank second during the inaugural season of Contenders in North America.
The OWL team Toronto Defiant revealed their official name October 24. Pallett publicially challenged the Defiant to an exhibition match between the new OWL team and his Contenders team on Twitter. Defiant did not respond asToronto Esports’ Twitter account continued to goad the Overwatch League team in a series of mocking tweets. They claimed that Defiant was too afraid to accept the challenge.
Pallett issued a statement in which he said his team deserved more recognition from Blizzard.
“We felt we were loyal to Blizzard and Overwatch...We felt that given this, in the very least should have been able to keep our original brand, which we hold very dearly,” Pallett said.
Toronto Esports has departed competitive Overwatch but those who played for them still remain. Kraft Group will continue to own the team’s roster and Contenders slot but will have to rebrand before competing again.