Overwatch League VP Spector addresses state of the league

Overwatch League vice president Jon Spector responded to growing concern around the state of the league, the health of Overwatch as a competitive esport and other league issues via a lengthy reddit post on Friday.

In the post, Spector addressed several key concerns put forth by fans, team ownership and players, beginning with the overall plans for homestands in 2020 and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the league's plans. He talked about apprehension over how the league's scheduling has affected competitive integrity and said this probably will lead to an expanded playoff field.

The league's switch to broadcasting on YouTube from Twitch and corresponding viewership concerns was discussed next. Spector reiterated that YouTube's VOD system is better overall for the league, especially with so many teams across multiple time zones and continents but admitted that the switch has been rocky.

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"We are not satisfied with where things are today. So, we are working with YouTube to improve discoverability of our content while looking at other changes to build excitement and raise the stakes," Spector said. "The May Tournament is a good example of a change in response to that feedback. And I'm excited to share that we are a few weeks away from bringing back token drops for watching on overwatchleague.com and our mobile app."

He added that viewership rewards on YouTube are still being worked out and that the league has seen strong viewership numbers in Asia.

Spector also touched on the recent retirements of several players, including 2019 OWL MVP Jay "Sinatraa" Won, as well as criticisms of the Tier 2, Tier 3 and amateur systems for competitive Overwatch.

"While the system has produced many exciting OWL players over the last few years, we know it hasn't met many other goals that we all have for this part of the pro scene," Spector said. "Our Path to Pro team is actively exploring potential changes to the model. One early idea we think has a lot of potential is running more community tournaments, as we believe the recent Breakable Barriers and Echo tournaments were very successful and fun for the broader competitive community."

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