End of An Era As Activision Announces The Closure of GameBattles

It goes from bad to worse. Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard revealed cuts in its esports operations, and months later, the Overwatch League comes to a crashing closure. Now, the firm has announced the closure of GameBattles, the age-old peer-to-peer competitive platform that served gamers the world over for twenty years. It was founded way back in 2003 and became a staple platform in the Call of Duty and Halo competitive scenes, but on January 15, 2024, it’ll cease to exist.

It’s a sad sign of the times — there were concerns about the management of the esports side of the business leading up to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While this decision is unlikely to be the result of a Microsoft-driven steer, it is indicative of AB’s seeming lack of interest in esports.

GG WP, GameBattles

gamebattles shutting down

Even today, GameBattles has retained a core following and facilitates a competitive ecosystem for Call of Duty’s more skilled players. It offers a platform for other titles as well, but it really was Call of Duty that made up the backbone of GameBattles. Here are some of the other AB games that had a home on GameBattles, which was bought out by MLG in 2006 – which was then subsequently acquired by Activision in 2016:

  • Overwatch 2
  • World of Warcraft
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • StarCraft II

It all came to a shocking end with a simple message posted on Twitter:

At once, the competitive gaming community erupted, with budding esports pros and veteran competitors alike taking to the airwaves to express their dismay at the announcement. There were throwback posts showing the profiles of some of the best Call of Duty players in the world as they were some ten years ago.

On Twitter, Chris ‘MLG_Chris’ Evans, the Operations Supervisor at GameBattles, wrote:

‘I couldn’t have asked for a better year to end on. Supporting Warzone/WSOW earlier this year has genuinely been a dream come true, and I’m proud to have been involved in the first ever in-person Global Final for the WSOW. I’m excited for the future of the scene & I’ll be rooting for continued success from the sidelines.’

GameBattles wasn’t just for amateur gamers – the platform had facilitated the organisation of some high-tier tournaments in Call of Duty, COD Mobile, and Overwatch. Sadly, the closure of GameBattles also means that the MLG brand has no more active branches, so it too may be set for closure soon.

This was the platform that saw the rise of so many of today’s superstars, so it’s certainly a huge hit for the competitive Call of Duty community. In light of this news, here’s our coverage of the other gaming tournament websites out there today.

For more industry news, stay tuned to Esports.net

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