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Opinion

Translation of Blizzard’s OWL statement

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Blizzard released a statement to Yahoo about recent reports regarding Overwatch League. I’ve found it easier to translate corporate releases because they’re over bloated and opaque. So I write out the statement, translate it and leave a question I still want to know the answer to. Here goes…

StatementWe appreciate that there’s a lot of enthusiasm about the Overwatch League, which has translated into months of speculation–including reports circulating unverified and wildly ranging rumors from anonymous sources about purported deal terms, team pricing, and other details. We understand the interest in the rumors, and we feel it’s important to clarify some things for our community.

Translation: We have had months of speculation about business. We feel it’s important to clarify now. The obvious question is why now when we had months prior where they could do so?

Question: Why talk now when we had months prior where they could do so?

StatementFirst, we want to be clear that our ultimate goal is to create an exciting Overwatch esports ecosystem, the pinnacle of which will be the Overwatch League, that’s accessible to a wide audience, sustainable, and rewarding for everyone involved. We’re doing our best to take great care with building this ecosystem, and as with much of what we do, we don’t release information until we’re at a place where it makes sense to do so.

Translation: We want OWL to be successful. We haven’t said anything because now isn’t the right time.

StatementSecond, we’d like to dispel any rumors that we’re ignoring endemics. Anyone who knows Blizzard understands how deeply we care about the communities around our games. The league is built upon the best elements of endemic esports programs and traditional sports, and we’re in active discussions with many teams and owners from both worlds because it will take a village to stand up a league with such an unprecedented structure. Those conversations have been going well and there’s a lot of excitement around our ambitious plans.

Translation: We aren’t ignoring endemics. Don’t these noobs know that we care about the community? We are trying to combine endemics and sports. It is going well.

Question: The community wanted more LANs, multiple endemic teams in esports have pulled out. The pro players, for the most part, think your map pick ban system is trash. The community was asking for some kind of communication for months but you’ve only addressed it now, Why?

StatementFinally, it’s important to think twice about statements from unnamed sources, who may try to leverage the media to deliberately spread misinformation as bargaining tactics or for other competitive reasons. We look forward to officially sharing real details about the league and the ecosystem as a whole as we continue the development process. In the meantime we are staying focused on our goal of creating an awesome Overwatch esports experience for players, partners, and fans, and we want to thank everyone for their continued support.”

Translation: Don’t listen to the rat who was saying shit. Those cowards are leaking out details to get better deals at the bargaining table. We will focus on making OW esports great.

Question: Do you understand that journalism uses unnamed sources?

I have learned almost nothing from this statement.

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