Blizzard's sudden decision to cancel 2019 competitions for Heroes Of The Storm seems to have effectively destroyed the game's chances as an esport. As a result, a lot of pro players have found themselves unemployed overnight. Now, as they contemplate the future, many have taken to social media to voice their shock, disappointment, and anger.
Blizzard announced last week that it was pulling developers from Heroes Of The Storm to put more focus into other secret projects. The company is also canceling 2019's Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm. That robs the game of both its premiere college scene and its biggest international tournament. Pro players have since chimed in to say that they had no idea this was happening, and have in fact been spending the end 0f 2018 practicing for a 2019 season they were ensured would come.
"Working 6 hard months with new fantastic teammates for this s**t," tweeted HotS pro Lauber. "Radio silence for weeks. I sent multiple email and all I got back was that they are working on finalizing the details."
Liam O'Malley, a new player for team Endemic, finds his career over before it even began, reports Polygon. "For the past 3 years I’ve committed 8-10 hours a day into hots to improve to make it into the HGC one day. I even dropped out of college to pursue my dream. Finally I did it and was going to be playing for @endemicesports as offlane in 2019. Now I’m told it’s canceled. I’m so sad."
Team management didn't fare any better when it came to getting accurate updates.
“Good thing I was a team owner and asked repeatedly for information, even signed on for an apartment and I was given zero information regarding my job in 2019. LOL what a joke,” said Justing, team Simplicity's captain.
In a statement made on behalf of Method, general manager Dierre wrote: "We are troubled by the way the announcement was made; namely the impolitic choice to use social media to share such a message that effectively ended the careers of hundreds of players, content creators, casters, production crews overnight - and broke the hearts of countless fans."
For its part, Blizzard ensures players that the game is not dead. Kaéo Milker, the game's production director, wrote a post to share his thoughts on the game's future.
"The Heroes of the Storm team and I also have a unique opportunity to rethink things and reprioritize. Because now more than ever, our charge is to focus on taking care of you, our players, and to channel all our energy into keeping the game dynamic and fun. This means we’re still committed to regular hero reworks, themed events, and even new heroes."
But with no esports scene, many pro players and streamers are already trying to get work in League of Legends or Dota 2. At least there's still Overwatch League.