Are the Chengdu Hunters extinct? It appears that one Chinese-based OWL team isn’t on the schedule for the start of Spring Qualifiers.

Things have been rocky ever since the conscious uncoupling of Blizzard and its Chinese publishing partner Netease. With games like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch now offline and unplayable on the mainland it brought another question into view: What about the Chinese Overwatch League teams? Well, we now have a semi-official confirmation for one, as it appears the Chengdu Hunters might disband.

At the least, they won't be on the schedule for the upcoming season, starting next week.

Chengdu Hunters: Disband or extinct?

Rumors have swirled since the start of the year that the Chengdu Hunters could disband in light of the Blizzard/Netease blowout. It didn't help matter that the Hunters were the only Chinese OWL team to not make any roster announcements once the free agency deadline came and went. The whispers of the team's death started on Jan. 23 of last year when the team posted a goodbye image.

The Chengdu Hunters social media team was quick to add that this was about the shutdown of Overwatch. However, that didn't stop the rumor mill from churning. We now have official statement from Overwatch League via a social media post today, on the day that the upcoming Spring Qualifier schedule was set to release:

Ahead of our season start, we wanted to share with the community that the Chengdu Hunters are not included in today's schedule announcement, as they continue to contemplate the future direction of their team. We will update the community further when we have more information to share.

Like we said, not an official statement saying the Chengdu Hunters will disband. But certainly it seems like a quiet quitting of sorts. Will the team reform for the Summer stage? Only time and more information from Blizzard will tell.

Regardless, pour one out for the Hunters. Of all the Overwatch League teams you were certainly one of them.

Stay tuned to for esports news and more OWL 2023 info.