Overwatch League host Malik Forté is the fifth high profile talent to not return to OWL for the 2020 season. Forté confirmed his departure on Twitter and later told Kotaku that the parting of ways is due to failing to reach an agreement about his compensation.
“I can speak for myself and say that, after years of being a part of this community, traveling the world, interacting with fans, making shoulder content, advertisements that ran on national television, and lots of hard work — I was expecting a little more than what was proposed for 2020,” Forté wrote to Kotaku. “I guess they didn’t think I was worth what I asked for, so we never reached a number that made sense for me to continue on.”
Forté has been involved with Overwatch since its earlier days, working as a reporter for the Overwatch Open and Overwatch World Cup in 2016-2017. With the launch of OWL, he was called out to the big leagues and worked as host and interviewer for the past two seasons.
His departure from OWL follows that of several other prominent figures on the broadcast team. Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles was the first to jump ship, announcing his decision in the last days of 2019. In the days to follow, Chris Puckett, Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat, and MonteCristo’s long-time casting partner Erik “DoA” Lonnquist also confirmed their departures.
To fill the empty chairs on the desk, the OWL has made moves to hire veteran Overwatch caster Andrew “ZP” Rush and former Houston Outlaws pro-player Jacob “JAKE” Lyon who will partner up as one of the new casting duos fans will watch in Season 3.