Blizzard looking to award loyal Overwatch League viewers
Since it was announced Overwatch League will be moving to YouTube, the fans started asking whether they will receive emotes and in-game drops while watching OWL, like it was the case in previous years. While there was no official confirmation to date, OWL commissioner Pete Vlastelica made an announcement, Overwatch is looking for a way to give back to the community.
Last week Activision Blizzard announced Overwatch League will be following the footsteps of Hearthstone and Call of Duty League move to YouTube as the exclusive streaming platform for the 2020 OWL, which sparked an interesting conversation among fans who started asking whether OWL will continue awarding them with emotes and in-game drops while watching the top-tier of Overwatch esports competitive scene.
As of today, there were no official announcements regarding the implementation of the said rewards, however, Pete Vlastelica made a Twitter post, unveiling the league is looking for a way to offer rewards to players who watch the OWL broadcasts.
His Twitter post read:
"We’ve heard your questions about how drops might work on YouTube. It’s important for fans to know that we’re exploring ways to offer rewards for watching our broadcasts on YouTube in the future."
The Twitter post comes in the wake of the news Activision Blizzard are moving 2020 season of Overwatch League alongside the inaugural season of Call of Duty League to YouTube, as the exclusive streaming platform instead of Twitch, which is still regarded as the biggest esports streaming platform to date.
While the move to YouTube Gaming was well received by the fans, the community started to ask what will happen with the in-game loot and emotes they were receiving while watching Season 2 of OWL on Twitch. In the past, the OWL had many ways to interact with its viewers, who were able to cheer in the chat by using up "bits" – a Twitch chat currency, which the players can either buy or earn by watching ads and then use to make their chat more interactive.
Perhaps the most exciting feature Overwatch League introduced was that it awarded special OWL Tokens to random viewers by the end of the stream, which the said players/viewers were able to use as an Overwatch in-game currency to unlock OWL skins used by Overwatch players themselves.
Players had a plethora of different skins available for purchase, as OWL continued adding more and more to their shop, including legendary skins for its all-star week. The 2019 OWL All-Star week, which took place in May 2019 introduced Lucio and Mercy legendary skins, while 2018 All-Star week introduced Atlantic All-Star Tracer and Pacific All-Star Genji.
Furthermore, OWL's introduced an All-Access Pass on Twitch, which served as a paid premium subscription-based viewing option, which allowed the Overwatch fans to customize their match-viewing experience with a slew of viewing options, including emotes and badges which the viewers could use on Twitch while also receiving bonus rewards in additional in-game content.
While the OWL fans had many ways of making their viewing experience more enjoyable, it remains to be seen what step will the Overwatch league take now, considering OWL 2020 will no longer be streamed on Twitch and instead on YouTube. As of today, there are no announcements about the new reward-system that is said to be implemented, however, with Season 3 of Overwatch League just around the corner, we can expect more information to become available in the upcoming days.
The 2020 Overwatch League is set to kick off on Saturday, February 8 with New York Excelsior and Dallas Fuel home stand weekends, followed by Shanghai Dragons and Philadelphia Fusion home stands on February 15, 2020.
Alongside OWL, Pete Vlastelica also confirmed individuals who will tune in and watch CDL matches, will also get the opportunity to claim exclusive loot as a reward for supporting the competitive Call of Duty scene. That move is expected to further increase the viewership numbers and possibly help CDL reach or at least come close to reaching the peak viewership numbers of League of Legends which is to date the most-viewed esports title.