The Overwatch League will delay the start of its fifth season, pushing the start date to late summer at earliest or, more likely, mid-fall, according to a report published Wednesday by GGRecon.
GGRecon reports the Overwatch League office has already informed teams about the delay, which it says is the result of delays to Overwatch 2's release — GGRecon's sources say the league office wants to play the next season on Overwatch 2. The long-awaited sequel still has no official release date.
GGRecon's sources say at least some teams plan to allow existing player contracts to lapse because of the lack of competition in the existing contract time frames. Some players have already been told of those decisions.
Overwatch League vice president Jon Spector denied the report via Twitter.
"It's really not practice to respond to every rumor about our future plans, but in this case this story is inaccurate," he wrote. "We have not set nor communicated dates about our 2022 season yet but do not plan to take a 'year-long hiatus' in any scenario we are considering currently."
Several sponsors have pulled their support of the Overwatch League in the wake of a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit that exposed a culture of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination at Activision Blizzard. GGRecon says the decision to delay the season was made and communicated to teams before that lawsuit was made public, indicating it is likely unrelated.