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Overwatch Esports Sponsors Return As McDonald's Features On The Broadcast

Overwatch Esports Sponsors Return As McDonald's Features On The Broadcast
Activision Blizzard

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

30th Sep 2021 10:24

Following the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard from the Californian Government, which centralised around workplace harassment and a "frat boy culture", their respective esports franchises (Call of Duty and Overwatch) were caught as collateral as many sponsors looked to distance themselves from the company.

However, it appears that some of the sponsors who withdrew from the esports broadcasts are phasing themselves back into the scene.

Back in August, towards the twilight stages of both the CDL (Call of Duty League) and OWL (Overwatch League), a range of partners cut ties with Activision, including T-Mobile who were the main sponsors behind the broadcasts of both leagues. Shortly after, the likes of Kellogg's, McDonald's, State Farm, and even the US Army, pulled out of the online streams, leaving both titles with very few respective partners - proving quite a financial hurdle for leagues with such massive buy-in clauses and contracts with team franchises.

Now, following the conclusion of the Overwatch League, in which Shanghai Dragons completed the perfect four-year comeback, some sponsors appear to be returning to Overwatch, with McDonald's being the official partner behind the Contenders League Playoffs.

A McDonald's logo can be seen popping up on the official broadcast of the Overwatch Contenders Australia Playoffs, Day 1, the second tier of competition for Blizzard's final esports venture before implementing the sequel.

This marks the first time that a sponsor has returned to either Overwatch or Call of Duty following the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit has also had ramifications in-game, which Activision has begun to deal with, such as the removal of Jason McCree's name from the game - the Lead Designer that was named within the reports from Kotaku surrounding the "Cosby Suite" allegations. Activision removed all ties to his name from within the game, including the naming of the character 'McCree', as well as carrying this token over to World of Warcraft.

With both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty facing lengthy post-season gaps, McDonald's return could hint that more sponsors will reignite their support of the esports heading into 2021.

For the OWL, more so than the CDL, sponsors will likely have a large impact on their first season on Overwatch 2, as players are set to play on an early build of the sequel.

 

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