Overwatch Contenders game grinds to a halt after both teams refuse to play

When Ex Oblivione and 01_Esports took to the stage for July 28's Overwatch Contenders European Summer Series, nobody could have predicted what would happen. As the two teams dashed towards Nepal's capture point, commentators were hyped up and ready to talk through a heated match. Except nothing happened, as the two teams refused to play in protest of a poor administrative decision made earlier in the day.

The trouble began when 01_Esports faced off against Munich Esports, both sides under the impression that the match was the first to four wins, a best of seven. Munich Esports pushed ahead with three straight wins, before 01_Esports won the next two maps, taking the score to 3-2. Suddenly, the match was halted as tournament officials declared that it was meant to be a best of five, giving the win to Munich Esports.

Understandably, the move didn't go down too well with the community. 01_Esports member Timber "kraandop" Rensen tweeted out a screenshot of a Discord conversation between Munich Esports player Jacob "choose" Bronder and a tournament organiser. The organiser confirmed twice that the match between the two teams would be a best of seven. While the tournament website now shows the games as a best of five, Wayback Machine and a screenshot from kraandop show that it was originally listed as best of seven.

With 01_Esports being kicked into the losers bracket and facing off against Ex Oblivione, the two teams banded together to protest the decision made. They head over to the side of the capture point, lining up as the two Torbjorns get into a fun little slap fight. The protest only lasts for about two minutes before being pulled off-stream, but it's rather funny watching the commentators do their damn best to hype up 10 players who are very clearly not playing the objective. They excitedly attempt to shout through the Torbjorn fistfight and a purposefully pathetic Orisa 1v1 before the game is paused and taken off the stream.

After the game, Ex Oblivione took to Twitter to release a statement about the situation. "Ex Oblivione, alongside many other within the Contenders scene, are distraught regarding the decision made for the match between 01_Esports and Munich Esports and the issues that have occurred following multiple errors on Blizzard's end," it read.

"We believe this is in combination with a general lack of communication has affected the competitive integrity of this tournament. We hereby refuse to continue our series until the issues have been addressed. We apologise to all viewers watching the matches, and hope you understand." Ex Oblivione player Esteban "Helv" Fernandez also shared screenshots from the game itself, where a tournament organiser threatened to disqualify both teams if they refused to play.

Now, Overwatch Contenders officials are allowing 01_Esports and Munich Esports to wrap up their final two games on July 29. It'll continue on from the previous day's games, with Munich taking the lead 3-2 and having the next choice of map.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.