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Overwatch League fans concerned after Overwatch 2 shuts down in China cover image

Overwatch League fans concerned after Overwatch 2 shuts down in China


Overwatch 2 has been shut down in China and now Overwatch League fans are wondering how this will impact Chinese teams.

The Overwatch community has been left stunned by a sudden announcement from Chengdu Hunters, an Overwatch League team located in China.
On Twitter, Chengdu Hunters declared "goodbye" to their fans. A translation of the attached photo read: "Final words: Goodbye to all Overwatch." This had fans confused and concerned for the team. The Overwatch community reacted with broken hearts, wishing the team farewell.
But it was pointed out by some fans that Chengdu wasn't leaving the Overwatch League. Instead, it was a message about Overwatch being banned in China. This was later confirmed by the Chengdu Hunters, who tweeted that Overwatch 2 has been shut down in mainland China a few hours later.

Is Overwatch 2 shut down in China?

Blizzard first announced a shut down back in November of 2022. According to developers, Overwatch and other Blizzard games would be suspended due to the company failing to find another licensing agreement. The initial one ended today, taking World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo III, and Overwatch 2 offline in China.
This has left fans concerned for the Chengdu Hunters and other Overwatch League teams based in China. The teams nor Blizzard have announced their plans for 2023. Meanwhile, the free agency period between seasons has been delayed as Blizzard attempts to get Overwatch 2 back online in China. Originally Jan. 16, the current date for all teams to confirm their roster is March 13.
Until then, the Overwatch League is paused. It's assumed that the Overwatch League will start in April but Blizzard has yet to reveal any official date. It's unclear if the teams will have to leave China since they no longer have access to Overwatch 2, or if Blizzard will strike up a deal to get it back online.
Chengdu nor the other Chinese Overwatch League teams have yet to make any statements regarding what the shut down means for the team and its players.
Olivia Richman
Olivia Richman
Editor | Twitter @y05h1eggz
Olivia Richman is a seasoned esports writer and editor who enjoys creating unique content about Smash, Apex Legends, Halo, Rainbow Six Extraction, Call of Duty, and basically every other game! Olivia enjoys the Pokemon TCG, Kirby, and being a persuasive thief in Fallout and Outer Worlds.