After this year, the Overwatch League will no longer create special skins to honor the League’s MVP. Earlier today, the Overwatch League announced the release of two special Overwatch skins celebrating the San Francisco Shock’s second championship win and Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim earning 2020’s MVP award. But tucked into the announcement on the Overwatch League website was this little caveat:
Don’t miss out, as this is the last time a skin will be made for the Overwatch League MVP.
The special player skins started back in 2019, when the League released a special hero cosmetic commemorating the talents of the previous year’s MVP. Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang earned the first such skin, a slick-looking octopus-themed Zenyatta, for his talents as the League’s deadliest support player. In 2020 Jay “Sinatraa” Won became the League’s second MVP, earning himself an alien-themed Zarya look.
Shortly after Won’s skin was released he left the Overwatch League to pursue a career in professional Valorant, but his skin remained. However, after a former girlfriend released a statement claiming Won sexually and emotionally abused her, the Overwatch League put out its own statement saying it would remove Won’s Zarya skin and issue credit for anyone who wanted a refund.
Blizzard has also made the video that announced the skin private, deleted tweets, and seem to have removed references to the skin from overwatchleague.com. Won was suspended from both his Valorant team and any future Valorant professional matches pending investigation.
It’s currently unknown why the Overwatch League would end the tradition of awarding special skins to its MVPs. It might be because the skins are designed to showcase the personality and signature hero of the winning MVP and are, as such, a kind of lasting representation of them in the game. By eliminating MVP skins, Blizzard might be guarding against a future in which it might have to distance itself from other problematic MVPs.
Kotaku has reached out to Blizzard for comment.