Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the April 16 start of the Overwatch League season will include a revamp to the viewer experience. The new season comes with new formats and schedules, as well as exciting changes for viewers. From in-game rewards to first-time use of 4K views and a new clip function, the Overwatch League is indeed coming back in style.
What viewers will get to enjoy in 2021 Overwatch League
Every Overwatch League viewer can now watch and earn in-game rewards on YouTube Gaming. These in-game rewards start on March 27 with the Overwatch League Flash Ops Experimental Tournament and will continue until the end of the 2021 season.
Viewers must link their Blizzard account with their YouTube account to access the League perks. In this season’s in-game rewards, viewers get the opportunity to earn League Tokens for use on a broader selection of Overwatch League skins and sprays.
New 4K quality Overwatch League viewer experience
The 2021 Overwatch League is introducing 4K quality to viewers for all of its matches. This is the first time that the League games will be shown in 4K. Viewers can watch live and on-demand 4k matches available on the Overwatch website, mobile app and YouTube page.
More live shots of players
In addition, the Overwatch League will now have player cameras that are always on. This means that there will be more live shots of all players competing. OWL streams will show a player’s camera feed live when observing that player in the first-person mode. There are also plans to add live player communication to show important times and allow viewers to feel closer to the action.
Encore matches feature
One of the complaints of the League viewers has been the difficulty to keep up with matches because of time zone differences. The encore feature should help the league improve on accessibility for worldwide fans. To help viewers keep up with all the action of the season, there will be 24 encore matches.
These encore matches are match replays at times better suited to fans in North America. Furthermore, they are much different from normal replays, as you can still earn the viewership rewards when you watch them. All encore broadcasts will begin at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time and lead into Watchpoint for that day’s West region schedule.
Other Changes to Overwatch League viewer experience
Asides from the changes already mentioned, the new season comes with new match scores ticker and spoiler-free mode. The spoiler-free mode lets fans hide match results on the scores ticker, standing sections and schedule. There is also a new virtual set and broadcast graphics package.
The 2021 Overwatch League season begins on April 16.
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.