It's been announced that Overwatch's biggest tournament to this point, APEX, has been cancelled by organiser OGN.
The announcement came today that the South Korean based competition wouldn't continue to survive as Overwatch refocuses all of its esports efforts squarely into the Overwatch League ecosystem. OGN say they were planning to run season 5 of the tournament, but they pulled plans when they were "notified that Blizzard was preparing a competition with another broadcast."
There had been some hope the competition would be rolled into the Contenders branch of Overwatch League, which acts as a tier 2 and maturing ground for future players. Sadly, that has not been the case. As found on InvenGlobal (via PCGamesN), OGN made a statement announcing the closure of the competition, but also made sure to say that Blizzard is still an important partner.
First of all, we apologize to the fans who have supported <Overwatch APEX>, for not being able to continue our journey.
<Overwatch APEX> was a competition that OGN had actively invested in so that Overwatch could be settled in the eSports scene. We did our best to make <Overwatch APEX> successful, and we also put in a lot of effort so that Overwatch may become a good eSports event.
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 <Overwatch APEX> season, so we are very regretful.
However, OGN 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.
It's a shame to see APEX close down entirely. It's the tournament where the best of the best players cut their teeth, and it absolutely will have a long spectre over just about every current Overwatch League roster. For that, APEX will always have a huge place in Overwatch's Leagues legacy. Also, it gave us Runaway's great pink jumpers — something truly special.