Another contender’s team has fallen. Gen.G officially announced that their Overwatch Contender team would not be anymore. The organization has pronounced some well-known names of Gilseong ‘Glister’ Lim, Hyeonwoo ‘Toyou’ Lim, and Jeongwan ‘Someone’ Ham, to name a few. This is another hard hit for the T2 side of Overwatch. But it reveals the larger issues that are at play.
A Warning Sign
안녕하세요, 젠지 이스포츠입니다.
— 젠지 이스포츠 | Gen.G Esports (@GenG_KR) May 25, 2022
The T2 side of Overwatch, or any esport game, is the canary in the coal mine. A healthy T2 scene means that there is still interest in the game a new talent that will be moving up into the T1 teams eventually. Gen.G is not the first Korean contenders team to bow out of the scene. Runaway might be one of the most well-known Korean contenders team and almost a year ago in June of 2021, they too announced their departure from the scene.
The Health of the Game
This is a dangerous place for Overwatch. Yes, Overwatch 2 is coming out soon. The beta did revitalize the scene a little, but with the beta being shut down and with no definitive timeline of when it is coming back up more Overwatch players are going towards other games such as Valorant. If more and more contenders teams continue to drop out then there will be less of a pool for Overwatch League teams to pick from when it comes to players. Though the summer series was announced, with such big names out of the pool in the Korean region, other teams will have to step up.
Gen. G had a unique setup with a three-tier system. The Seoul Dynasty is the most well-known, as the organization’s tier 1 team. Gen. G contender was the mid-level team while GGA was the organization’s T3. This pyramid structure allowed players to see how a player could move within the ranks to get to that top stop. Many players have made that trek through the system while being supported by Gen.G. Thankfully, Gen.G is continuing their GGA structure. This will continue to help with the development of Overwatch players, but for the more entry-level.
The elephant in the room is the money. It is no secret that it was hard for the Overwatch League to get sponsors this season. That is not just limited to the overarching league, but also to some teams. There are not many sponsors that are looking at the Overwatch scene. Sponsors that are might not be acceptable to both APAC and NA fans. For example, there was a big ruckus when the Guangzhou Charge picked up Herbalife as a sponsor as it is an MLM. There were also issues when Seoul Dynasty went with a Crypto sponsor that the western fans were greatly against. This puts organizations and teams in a rough spot. They need sponsors, but to what extent as it alienates their fan base?
No More Gen.G Contenders
2021, 2022 넋두리들
이제 진짜 안녕인거야…최근일수록 사진이 많이 없네 미안. pic.twitter.com/lahnyx52xD
— Gen.G Lime (@LimeOverwatch) May 25, 2022
Gen.G is focusing on their players and staff to build a solid roster. for the Seoul Dynasty. With the uncertainty that was surrounding the T2 scene for so long, as well as funding to consider, it looks like the contenders’ world will be without another team in the league. That being said Gen.G is looking out for the players’ best interest as unrestricted free agents, as finding new homes for the players is the top priority. Tiger Nation has been waiting to see players like Seungyong ‘Topdragon’ Jeong and Somyung ‘Bliss’ Kim play potentially under Seoul Dynasty after a long tenure with the T2 team. It is a hard goodbye, but one never knows what the future brings. Hopefully, all the Gen.G players find a home and continue to be successful as all have great potential to make it to the Overwatch League someday.
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