Controversial news has been making rounds in the Overwatch Contenders league over the last few days. During the Overwatch Contenders 2022 Summer Series: Europe A-Sides, a tournament hosted by Blizzard, teams Munich Esports and 01 Esports were confirmed to be facing off in a best-of-seven semi-final (first to four games) in the winner's bracket on July 28th.
The winners' bracket semi-final match was well underway, with Munich Esports leading the series 3-0 and looking to seal the deal. O1 Esports, on the other hand, remained persistent and was able to claw back to make it 3-2, smelling a comeback on the horizon. However, that is when the unthinkable occurred. Overwatch Contenders officials abruptly ended the match, with a final verdict score of 3-2, seeing Munich Esports freely walk into the Grand Finals, and O1 Esports sent to the loser bracket finals.
This did not sit well with 01 Esports, and it appears that Ex Oblivione, the team they would face later that day in the loser bracket final, felt the same way. That's when both teams communicated with each other, that they would protest the ruling during their loser bracket semi-final match. Which they did, by loading into the game and having both teams stand around, refusing to play the objective.
— Ex Oblivione (@ExOblivioneOW) July 28, 2022
At this point in time, the broadcast was cut off, and both teams were apparently threatened to be disqualified. This can be seen in a Tweet from Ex Oblivione player, Helv. With no compromise from both teams, finally, Overwatch Contenders remarked by releasing the statement below:
— Overwatch Path to Pro (@owpathtopro) July 28, 2022
Effectively going back on their ruling, and letting teams Munich Esports and 01 Esports close out their original proposed best of seven today, July 29th. Munich Esports quickly stamped that match out 4-2 with the win. 01 Esports went on to play Ex Oblivione in the loser bracket final, taking the series 4-1. This advanced 01 Esports to today's Grand Finals against Munich Esports, which Munich Esports won 4-3.
We wish we could say it was a happy ending for 01 Esports, but evidently, it wasn't. This has sparked a massive backlash against Blizzard's treatment of semi-professional Overwatch Esports. If 01 Esports had maintained the momentum they had the day before, the outcome could have been very different.