Ninjas in Pyjamas release Overwatch roster
The fast moving world of Overwatch took another turn today with the news that Swedish organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) would be releasing their roster with immediate effect. The Finnish line-up, signed last year around the time of the game’s launch, had much potential, but the scene has failed to evolve and the statement from NiP definitely reflects concerns a number of teams currently have over the future of Overwatch esports.
The announcment, made today, sees Joona ‘Fragi’ Laine, Kalle ‘hymzi’ Honkala, Antti ‘kyynel’ Kinnunen, Lauri ‘mafu’ Rasi, Aleksi ‘Zuppehw’ Kuntsi and Joonas ‘zappis’ Alakurtti depart the org. The full text can be found here, but the language is clear and NiP have obviously reached the point of ultimate frustration at this point. One section reads: As time passed we have seen a growing amount of teams release their Overwatch lineups as they assess the future of the game as an esports title. The scene has not evolved as expected with viewership being below expectations and Blizzard is yet to announce more details surrounding their upcoming Overwatch League.
Today we announce that we will be joining the growing list of organizations placing Overwatch as one of the titles to observe but not to be involved in, given the uncertainties of the scene. We remain excited for the prospectus for the upcoming Overwatch League, but are yet to understand the full scope of the opportunity as Blizzard have been cautious in their communication.
The language is clear, and fairly accusatory toward game developers Blizzard, and the reference to the ‘growing list of organizations’ makes it obvious that NiP simply do not see the way forward, and have taken this decision knowing others feel the same. With the attempt to rebuild their CounterStrike roster also underway following the replacement of Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, which saw one of the greatest four man units in the game split up, the org has other fish to fry at this point, especially with the Overwatch dish failing to heat up.
It should be mentioned that despite the potential in the side, recent results for the Finnish roster have not been impressive, including a recent 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Vivi’s Adventure, and they would have been under pressure for that reason in other circumstances. That NiP have chosen to use this move to send a message is telling though, and continues what is becoming a worrying narrative of big teams pulling back from Overwatch until they are given some indication as to the direction of the game, Blizzard’s plans, and whether they are just going to be thrown by the wayside when the big boys from the world of sport jump in.
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