Cloud9’s Overwatch esports team London Spitfire finished in the top six at the recent Overwatch League 2023 playoffs.
They lost to Boston Uprising, beat Atlanta Reign but fell to Boston again in the decider match in group 1 of the playoffs, knocking them out of the tournament.
Florida Mayhem went on to win the Overwatch League 2023 playoffs and claim the $1m top prize, after beating Houston Outlaws 4-0 in the grand final.
Spitfire player Admiral said Spitfire managed to exceed expectations as a team for two years in a row.
This comes after an awful year for London Spitfire in 2021.
Spitfire general manager Noukky and head coach ChrisTFer also took the time to comment about Spitfire this year, and thank the fans and team.
Noukky said she couldn’t be more proud over the past two years, while ChrisTFer added: “Finished top six again, with similar feelings of pride, but also the feeling we had more to give.
“Overall I’m really pleased with what we accomplished over the last two years and I don’t think I expected anything like the success we had.”
Update (October 30th): London Spitfire say ‘with the contracts of all our players and coaches expiring at the end of the season, we will evaluate the future of the London Spitfire in the coming weeks’.
Overwatch League to undergo ‘revitalised esports program’
After the Overwatch League 2023 playoffs concluded, Activision Blizzard posted the following on the official Overwatch League X (aka Twitter) account.
It said: “With the completion of the 2023 Overwatch League season, we will be focusing on building our vision of a revitalised esports program.
“We’re eager to share more with you as details are finalised.”
The announcement comes after Overwatch has received criticism for its approach to esports, with declining views (the Overwatch League 2023 playoffs concurrent viewership halved year-on-year according to Esports Charts) and its stance on franchising.
Overwatch League team slots cost a reported $20m back in 2018, and earlier this year Activision Blizzard reportedly offered teams a termination fee of $6m each, if they opposed a new operating agreement.
At the start of the year, teams were seeking legal action against Activision Blizzard following missed promises on revenue.
But talk continues about Overwatch and its space in esports. Its future, then, remains uncertain.
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.