Overwatch 2 hypes its April 26 closed PvP beta as the Overwatch League struggles to secure sponsors

    
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If there’s anybody out there still interested in what PvP in Overwatch 2 is going to look like, the previously announced spring beta test has now gotten a hard calendar date: Tuesday, April 26th. Those who are interested in opting in to the beta will have to own a copy of the original shooter, and those who are selected will be brought in based on factors like location, hardware specs, and when players signed up.

During a developer livestream last week, members of the team discussed some of the impressions they’ve received during the sequel’s alpha testing, talked about their concept of being a live service game, and outlined some of the main goals for both alpha and beta testing, with particular focus on hero balance, the new 5v5 format, and getting an outside view of the shooter’s meta.

In tangential news, the Overwatch League has apparently found it difficult to land sponsors, as first reported by WAPO last week. The esports event’s official page still shows no sponsoring companies at the time of this writing; readers will recall that sponsors began bailing last year following the Activision-Blizzard lawsuit and scandal. The league’s new head Sean Miller promised that discussions for ongoing and new partnerships were still happening, while companies that previously dropped their support of the league like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, State Farm, and Comcast have stated that they will not be sponsoring the 2022 season. As a reminder, the Overwatch League is scheduled to return on May 5th, which leaves only a few weeks for Blizzard to lock down some sponsors.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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