The vice president of the Overwatch League has apologised to former broadcast talent after an interview he gave to ESPN at the league’s opening weekend implied they didn’t “live and breathe esports.”
Jon Spector spoke to Jacob Wolf on Sunday (February 9) about the start of the Overwatch League but it was his comments about this year’s talent lineup that ruffled some feathers. A number of talented broadcasters left the league to go elsewhere this year, but instead of paying tribute to the group that had set the foundations for the league in its first two years, Spector told Wolf the league was going to prosper with people who “live and breathe” Overwatch.
Former broadcasters Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles, Erik ‘DoA’ Lonnquist, and Auguste ‘Semmler’ Massonnat all responded to the comments negatively on Twitter. DoA called Spector’s comments “veiled insults” and Susie Kim, MonteCristo’s wife, who also used to manage London Spitfire, said he was being “disingenuous.”
In a statement to ESPN Jon Spector says: “I want to apologise for my comments yesterday. I did not intend to slight anyone, but I failed to provide some important context before answering a question about my excitement for our 2020 lineup. I’d like to offer the context now that I should’ve provided yesterday.
“We are proud of our 2018 and 2019 broadcasts and we feel great about our lineup this season. We’re incredibly thankful for all of the talented voices that worked to launch the first two seasons of the Overwatch League. We would not be where we are today without your work — thank you all for living and breathing Overwatch and supporting our league since the beginning.”
The former casters have all responded positively to the new statement, which points out their dedication, but it’s a bad start for Blizzard who have many more weeks of competition to go, and the trust of broadcasters and fans to win.