OGN, founder and broadcaster of the prestigious Overwatch Apex tournament, has cancelled season five of the competition and will not be involved with Contenders Korea, one of the development leagues for the Overwatch League.
The company has run four seasons of OGN Overwatch Apex, pulling in the best Korean and international teams. Last year, Blizzard announced that the Apex tournament would be re-branded as Contenders Korea (opens in new tab), one of the development leagues for the upcoming official Overwatch League (opens in new tab). It was thought that OGN, as founder of the Apex tournament, would continue to play a major part in it, but it appears to have been bypassed by Blizzard.
OGN's statement suggests that it had planned to run another iteration of the Apex league before it switched to Overwatch Contenders. However, Blizzard appears to have picked another broadcaster for the Contenders league, and therefore OGN has cancelled season five of Apex.
"We did our best and agreed to most of Blizzard’s conditions on continuing the competition, but we were notified that Blizzard was preparing a competition with another broadcast. Until that notification, OGN had been preparing for the next season, so we are very regretful," it said in a statement to Inven Global (opens in new tab) (it never mentions Contenders Korea by name, but that must be what it's referring to).
OGN said it "acknowledges Blizzard as a very important partner. We will continue to have a good relationship with them in the eSports scene and we respect and accept their decision."
The broadcaster for Contenders Korea has not yet been confirmed, but reports in December suggested that Blizzard would select South Korean broadcaster MBC.