Folks who have logged onto Twitter in the past couple of hours might have probably seen the hashtag #ContendersStrike trending across the platform. This is due to a screw up on Blizzard’s part regarding Overwatch Contenders: Europe.
During the match between 01 Esports and Munich Esports, the game was suddenly paused during match 6 with 01 Esports on their way to possibly reverse sweeping Munich Esports after trailing 3-0 in a presumed best of 4 match. That was until Blizzard realized that it was actually a best of 3 match leading to the two map wins by 01 Esports to be nulled and Munich being declared the winner 3-0.
Needless to say, the Overwatch community were quick to pounce all over Blizzard for their mistake noting that the company do not have the best track record when it comes to the treatment of both the Tier 2 and Tier 3 scenes of Overwatch. Matters were made even worse after players noted they had been told even as late has yesterday that the match would be a Best of 7 matchup while also having the same listed on the tournament page as such.
Once the game was paused, both 01 Esports and Ex Oblivion were told they would both be disqualified from the tournament if they refused to compete against one another as they would have both been competing in the Lower Bracket Finals. This was even after Blizzard failed to acknowledge the mistake on their end. Ex Oblivision even released a statement noting they refused to continue the series until Blizzard addressed the issues.
Several Overwatch League players and teams across the Overwatch scene took to Twitter to voice their support for the #ContendersStrike movement including Fefe, Sheer Cold, Revival, Faustus, KSAA, and Danteh.
While the issue has been resolved for the time being as the company will be resuming the match tomorrow at the current 3-2 map score. Many feel like this was ultimately unnecessary that it even came to be point. Current Odyssey and Maryville Esports player ICED felt this was only resolved due to the hashtag reaching the top 3 Twitter trends and pressure from everything in the community. Others hope that the pressure the fanbase put on Blizzard will lead them to make the Tier 2 scene better as it has faced a beret of issues over the past few years including players moving to Valorant, academy teams disbanding, and extremely late payouts. Back in May 2020, then Overwatch Esports Vice President Jon Spector addressed those concerns on Reddit, but ultimately felt left on deaf ears. One of their biggest kerfuffles among the scene include cancelling Contenders: South America in early 2021 which has scene the esports market explode in the region in other competitive shooters like CS:GO and Valorant.