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Toronto Esports departs Overwatch Contenders over naming dispute

Boston Uprising to retain players and staff following partner's exodus

Toronto Esports has announced its departure from participation in Overwatch Contenders following a dispute surrounding naming rights. Boston Uprising, the organization it was affiliated with, will remain in the League.

The esports team joined Contenders earlier this year in a partnership with Boston Uprising. But last month, OverActive Media purchased the Toronto Overwatch League slot along with exclusive naming rights to the team name "Toronto Defiant," apparenting ousting Toronto Esports from referring to itself as "Toronto" anything while affiliated with the League and League-adjacent events.

Upon being asked to change its name, Toronto Esports published the following from its official Twitter account:

"We have been informed by Blizzard that we will be forced to remove 'Toronto' from our brand in only 6 weeks. Mid Contenders season 3. The reason cited: @TorontoDefiant have purchased 'exclusive naming rights' We will be leaving Overwatch effective immediately. Good riddance."

The team's players and staff will remain with the Boston Uprising as a part of Overwatch Contenders, according to Boston Uprising gaming president Chris Loranger. "I do not have the ability at the moment to address the recent or current decision out of @TOesports and we were not part of the decision at all," he said in a tweet.

Although Toronto Esports has thus far only been involved in competitive Overwatch, a statement on the team's Twitter has said it will explore other avenues, such as Fortnite or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.