Posted 14th July 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – The esports scene is ready for the mainstream market. It continues to unfold and grow mature as years go by, bringing the spotlight to new competitive video games like Overwatch. The players and the viewing figures of Blizzard Entertainment’s very own Multiplayer-Online Battle Arena game are dominating all ranks and statistics ever since Overwatch League (OWL).
Many believe, including critics and commentators, that the popularity of OWL has something to do with its structure. Tournaments like the League of Legend Championships and Dota 2’s The International focus more on a ranking system—with major and minor tournaments to determine the strongest and weakest teams each season. Most participating teams are invited or qualified only through previous qualifiers, and this might not work for viewers who want to follow their favorite teams and track the rankings for each event. The OWL, lo and behold, follows a different structure compared to the others.
The League compiles the best Overwatch teams from all regions in one arena and gives them a chance to compete weekly. Rather than qualifiers and invites, it follows the format of North American professional and traditional sports using a fixed, state-based teams and regular season play format. This is a simpler and more effective format as the teams are backed up by major cities, making it easier to determine the favorites and the number of supporters.
Supporting the effectivity of the format is esports industry’s veteran Adam Heath, he explains that “the esports scene hasn’t seen a format like the OWL on this scale which is part of the reason for its success. Taking on the format of professional American sports makes it far easier for mainstream media and spectators to understand. This makes following it more appealing to the non-esports people and promotes the growth of viewership outside the normal demographic.”
As representatives of their states and cities, the OWL format gives fans from around the world a reason to be invested. South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom are the best examples of locations with the largest number of fans and professional players. Therefore, aside from the fact that the format is straightforward, it also allows Blizzard Entertainment attract loyal fans to watch each game, increasing the number of OWL’s viewership.
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