June 16, 2024
Toronto Defiant
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Canadian esports franchise Toronto Defiant, owned by OverActive Media, has announced its entry into the newly created Overwatch Champions Series for the 2024 season.

Previously a franchised organisation in the now defunct Overwatch League, Toronto Defiant’s roster will be announced soon. Its team and operations will also continue to be based in Toronto, Canada.

ESI London 2024

Toronto Defiant has been a part of the Overwatch ecosystem since 2019 when the Canada-based team joined the Overwatch League as a part of the first wave of expansion teams. During its history, the team held mostly mid-table positions in the League and made playoffs two times, in 2020 and 2022.

The Overwatch League officially shut down in late 2023, leaving questions over the future of the title’s esports ecosystem. Since then, ESL FACEIT Group has partnered with Overwatch developer Blizzard to launch the Overwatch Champions Series, which will host a series of global tournaments in 2024. The partnership means that Overwatch will be featured at DreamHack events and the game will also receive full FACEIT support, enabling matchmaking and rankings.

Toronto Defiant was one of the first teams to publicly exit the now-deformed Overwatch League, with OverActive Media accepting Activision Blizzard’s payout in November 2023 and pulling out of the competition. Interestingly, OverActive has chosen to stick with its Toronto Defiant branding for the ecosystem, the team’s brand was previously created solely for the Overwatch League.

Ahead of the 2024 season, little is known about other teams that will compete in the OWCS, but Blizzard did announce a detailed schedule of LAN events and regional qualifiers which will start with the EMEA and North America Stage 1 group stages in early March 2024. The first Major will take place at DreamHack Dallas, and the Finals will take place at DreamHack Stockholm.

Adam Adamou, Co-Founder and CEO of OverActive Media, commented on the announcement: “We are excited to enter the Overwatch Champions Series and are fully committed to showcasing our team’s talent to the global community. The OWCS is a testament to the evolving nature of esports, and we are ready to make our mark in this new chapter.

“Our history with the Overwatch League, combined with our deep understanding of our fan community, positions us uniquely to embrace this opportunity. We are going in with the vision to win the world championship and solidify our legacy in the esports world.”

Ivan Šimić

Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.

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