With the final Overwatch League founding members secured, and the preseason set to begin, organizations who did not find themselves in the league are forced to consider their future. The most startling casualty so far has been Rogue, one of the most legendary rosters in Overwatch so far.
Rogue began to compete in 2016, but was enjoying a remarkable 2017 up until this announcement. They took first prize in the 2017 BEAT Invitational and the Overwatch PIT Championship. Despite a recent fifth place finish in the most recent Overwatch Contenders run, the Rogue roster was clearly competitive.
Despite this, Rogue was unable to either secure a spot in the Overwatch League or transfer the entire roster to another team. They explained the situation in a statement released via Twitlonger:
Today we're sorry to announce that we will be breaking up the current #RogueOW roster to allow the players to pursue spots on OWL teams. We did everything we could to get the team a spot in OWL, including procuring the buy-in money and going through the whole approval process. Unfortunately, we were not accepted for Season 1 and had no option but to break up the most accomplished Overwatch team in the game's history so that the players could accept offers. We will continue to pursue putting together more great teams in the future and hope next time to be able to keep what we've worked so hard to build.
With a $20 million buy-in and several traditional sports owners invested in the Overwatch League, there has been concern about the fate of endemic esports organizations in Overwatch. Rogue is the latest casualty of organizations who were unable to sustain their presence in the Overwatch scene.
The Overwatch League begins with a December preseason on the 6th, and the first season officially begins on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.