With all the excitement around the new expansion teams for Overwatch League, it’s not surprising that there had to be someone, somewhere out there that was not happy about it. Today we learned that one such party, the Toronto Esports Club, was so unhappy that they up and left the league with no love lost. The Toronto Esports Club was, until yesterday, the Contenders team for the Boston Uprising, but after receiving word from Overwatch that they couldn’t have the word “Toronto” in their name, they decided to up and quit. When the Toronto Defiant announced their name, they also purchased “exclusive naming rights,” including the name of the city in which they are located.
We have been informed by Blizzard that we will be forced to remove “Toronto” from our brand in only 6 weeks. Mid Contenders season 3. The reason cited: @TorontoDefiant have purchased “exclusive naming rights”. We will be leaving Overwatch effective immediately. Good riddance.
— Toronto Esports Club (@TOesports) November 13, 2018
According to a tweet put out by Toronto Esports’ President Ryan Pallett, the minor league team was given just six weeks to remove Toronto from their name, right in the middle of Contenders season 3. The tweet also revealed their significant decision to remove themselves from the Overwatch minors rather than just change the name. “We will be leaving Overwatch effective immediately. Good riddance.” While the decision was seen by many as drastic and sudden, the minor league team, upon the reveal of the Toronto Defiant name, issued a challenge to the team, rather than taking preemptive action regarding the name of their club.
Even though the Toronto Esports Club has voluntarily removed itself from the Overwatch League minors, owner of the Boston Uprising, the Kraft Group, still maintains ownership of the player and staff contracts of their minor league team, as well as the Contenders slot. President of Gaming at the Kraft Group, Chris Loranger, commented in a tweet, “I do not have the ability at the moment to address the recent or current decision out of [Toronto Esports] and we were not part of the decision at all.” As of now, it is unclear who will replace the Toronto Esports Club as the minor affiliate for the Uprising, but it will be business as usual for the team until the start of Overwatch League Season 2 in February.