A steady stream of high-profile departures have spelled trouble for the future of Blizzard's flagship esports project, and the exodus continued today as popular CS:GO personality Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat has also confirmed he won't be returning for the third season of the Overwatch League.

Bleeding talent

Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, Chris Puckett, and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist have already announced that they won't be returning for the third season of the Overwatch League, with MonteCristo citing "irreconciliable creative differences" behind the decision. Semmler is the fourth in line in rapid succession, which will no doubt force the organizers to scramble for long-term replacements. With the Overwatch Contenders series hollowed out over time (including massive payment delays), in-house replacements will have limited experience on the big stage.

What's next?

Speculation has already begun about Semmler's next move, with his recent appearances at the StarSeries &i-League Season 8 finals and the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals suggesting he may be on his way back to the world of Counter-Strike. It's likely he will receive a much warmer reception from the community as he did around the time he decided to join forces with the Overwatch League, when many in the community

With multiple high-profile broadcast talent announcing their departure following in the wake of OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer, who was poached by Epic Games last May, more questions are being asked about the sustainability of the league's model. With Season 3 introducing home and away games with a grueling travel schedule, it remains to be seen how the broadcasted product will adapt to these no doubt seismic changes.

Photo credit: HLTV