Activision Blizzard loses sponsor for Overwatch, Call of Duty leagues
Telecom T-Mobile appears to have actually withdrawn its sponsorship of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League and Call of Responsibility League in the middle of debate at the video game publisher, which was just recently taken legal action against by California regulators over unwanted sexual advances and gender discrimination claims. News of T-Mobile’s withdrawal from Activision Blizzard’s esports leagues was initially reported by Dexerto.
Polygon has actually connected to T-Mobile and Blizzard Home entertainment for verification of T-Mobile’s choice, however did not hear back. Nevertheless, T-Mobile’s logo design was pulled from both the Overwatch League and COD League’s lists of sponsorship partners. Mention of T-Mobile has also been excluded from recent tweets from the Overwatch League’s Twitter account and in a recent broadcast.
T-Mobile was previously listed as the official 5G Sponsor of the COD League and offered “T-Mobile Weekly Drops” for fans. However, as noted by Dexerto, T-Mobile appears to have canceled the latest 5G T-Mobile Drop without explanation.
A more obvious indicator of T-Mobile’s decision comes from the Call of Duty League, where during a recent match featuring the New York Subliners, that team wore stickers over their jerseys apparently to obscure the telecom’s logo design (they likewise wore duct tape to less elegantly obscure a Draft Kings sponsorship logo).
T-Mobile still appears on the Overwatch League’s 2021 rewards guide, which is branded with a T-Mobile Perks logo, but a tweet posted Monday from the OWL about those perks makes no mention of the sponsor.
Similarly, T-Mobile-sponsored Overwatch League team New York Excelsior no longer lists the telecom as one of its official partners in a current match between NYXL and the Shanghai Dragons. The following images are taken from OWL broadcasts from July 11 and July 31:
The Overwatch League’s partners page still lists Xfinity, IBM, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Cheez-It, Pringles, and Teamspeak as sponsors, as of Tuesday. Call of Duty League’s partners show as the U.S. Army, Astro, Zenni Gaming, Scuf, Mtn Dew Game Fuel, and USAA Insurance.
In July, Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for creating a “frat boy culture” that allowed gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment to proliferate. Several top executives, including former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, were named in the lawsuit for knowing about and enabling the alleged behavior. The DFEH said it conducted a two-year investigation into Activision Blizzard before filing the suit.
Immediately following the lawsuit, Activision Blizzard made an main statement in which it said the lawsuit included “distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.” Activision Blizzard executive (and previous George W. Bush homeland security advisor) Frances Townsend called the claim “truly meritless and irresponsible” in a declaration that’s since been criticized by current and previous personnel. Countless Activision Blizzard staff members signed a letter requesting for Townsend to step down as the executive sponsor of the females’s network. Following the letter, Activision Blizzard staff members in California and somewhere else left of work in demonstration of management reaction.
On Tuesday, J. Allen Brack stepped down as president of Blizzard Home entertainment. He will be changed by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who will co-lead the business.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.