Gladiators Legion confirmed earlier today in a public announcement that they will not take part in the 2020 season of Overwatch Contenders North America. The Los Angeles Gladiators’ academy team is not the first organisation to bow out of the second tier of professional Overwatch competition.

The Gladiators Legion, academy team of the Los Angeles Gladiators, have unfortunately pulled out of the Overwatch Contenders North America 2020 season, the second tier of professional Overwatch competition. The announcement was made and confirmed earlier today, the Legion unfortunately also not the first team to withdraw from the Overwatch competition.

The team made the following announcement on Twitter earlier today: “Today we made the difficult decision that the Gladiators Legion will not be participating in Contenders for the 2020 season,”. This also means that the entire Legion’s roster and staff have also been released.

The Gladiators Legion did see some success during their lifetime, ranking 2nd in the two 2019 North American Overwatch Contenders seasons. They even managed to make it to the The Gauntlet in South Korea, where they were eventually eliminated after running deep all the way to the quarterfinals.

The Legion are the 4th academy team to drop out of Overwatch Contenders North America so far this year. The other teams to have pulled out of the competition include NRG Esports, academy team to the San Francisco Shock. NRG were the first to pull out of the competition back in early 2019. Florida Mayhem’s Mayhem Academy followed suit soon thereafter, and XL2 Academy, affiliate-team of New York Excelsior, withdrew from Overwatch Contenders less than a month ago.

And yes, it may not be unusual for teams to drop out of a competition, it is certainly concerning that multiple academy teams are pulling out of the event and cutting their losses. Academy teams are squads owned by Overwatch League organisations. In other words, two-way contracts allow both teams to share or swap players on a short-term basis.

Thanks to the excellent backing of Overwatch League organisations, these academy teams often find themselves with more financial and managerial support in order to foster new talent. The fact that these academy teams are the ones pulling out is increasingly troublesome.

The Overwatch Contenders returns in January 2020 with a host of changes and new features, such as point-based, biweekly match schedules.

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