Hexagrams and Wolf No Longer Casting the Overwatch League 2021
Former Overwatch League casters Wolf Schröder and Robert “Hexagrams” Kirkbride will not be making a return in 2021, albeit for entirely different reasons. The latter will switch to an entirely different role within the company — he’ll now work as an Overwatch League producer. Wolf, however, wasn’t even offered the option to extend his contract.
Why might you ask? Right now, we can only speculate about their reasoning, but it’s fair to assume that things went down the way they did because Wolf is currently casting the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK). The fact that he’s employed as a freelancer didn’t change anything — he even shared his schedule and expressed interest in returning, but Blizzard didn’t share his enthusiasm. Whether that’s because he would only be able to cast the first half of the season or because he’s currently casting a “competing” esport is a question that’ll remain unanswered.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Blizzard did something childish and out of spite. One could argue that it’s been their M.O. The fact that so many casters and analysts decided to seek greener pastures didn’t happen without reason, after all.
There are but a few endemic casters to competitive Overwatch; most of them transitioned over from other esports, including League of Legends. Moreover, it’s not like the Overwatch League is competing with LoL — there’s very little overlap between them, not to mention that OWL is barely scraping by. In contrast, the competitive League is still pushing boundaries and setting records like nobody’s business. There’s very little room for malice and hate, but it seems like Blizzard doesn’t feel the same way.
Wolf’s long-time casting partner, Set “Achilios” King, still hasn’t announced his return (or potential departure), but it’s fair to assume that he’ll remain with the broadcast team for the time being.
A Strange Outlook
There’s more than enough room for competitive Overwatch in the world of competitive esports, but it’s hard to cultivate optimism given Blizzard’s shoddy track record. And yes, the 2021 season is right around the corner, there’s an exciting new format in place, the game is still getting some love from Blizzard (albeit a meager amount), and the viewing experience will be better than ever. Still, it’s impossible not to wonder: is it a case of “too little, too late?“
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out! The Overwatch League will return to action (without Hexagrams and Wolf, unfortunately) on April 16, and you can watch every minute of it on YouTube!