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Volume 26 No. 227
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Former OWL Announcers Share Concern Over League's Direction

The Overwatch League will begin its third season next month without its "most visible" esports announcers: Christopher Mykles, Erik Lonnquist and Chris Puckett, according to Noah Smith of the WASHINGTON POST. The exits of these announcers come after OWL "lost founding league commissioner Nate Nanzer to Epic Games and Fortnite last season." Mykles said that he "lost faith in the overall creative direction of the league after Nanzer moved on." Smith notes OWL was "originally pitched as a concept" by Nanzer to Activision Blizzard VP/Head of Development Jeff Kaplan. Mykles said, "Nate leaving was really hard because he was the linchpin of understanding the game and the audience." Mykles denied that his move was "related to compensation," and focused more on "differences in vision." He does "not think that pursuing traditional sports fans constitutes a sound strategy." Mykles: "I don't care about mainstream legitimacy at all." Mykles compared OWL and esports to WWE, as he believes that "fans are coming more for the entertainment aspect." Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard Senior Dir of Product Strategy & Business Operations Jon Spector "downplayed any notion of a mass exodus." Spector said, "This isn't a group of a couple people deciding unilaterally to leave"(WASHINGTON POST, 1/8).

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