Despite being forced into a major pivot away from regular in-person matches and events, Overwatch League has carried on in a digital format through 2020 and into 2021. With this year’s matches about to kick off in April 2021, Activision Blizzard and the Overwatch League wants to make sure the new digital experience is as robust as possible. The League revealed a slew of improvements coming to the viewer experience, including 4K broadcasts and use of YouTube’s new clip-and-share features.
The Overwatch League shared its upcoming new features and upgrades for the user experience in a blog post on the OWL website on March 25, 2021. First and foremost among the features is 4K. According to the post, each and every match from the opener to the Grand Finals championship rounds will be broadcast in 4K quality.
That’s not all though. Overwatch League is also set to adapt YouTube’s clip-and-share feature to its channel. Relatively new to YouTube, this will allow users to clip moments from broadcasts and share them much in the same way Twitch clips have historically worked. Other improvements will include always-on-player cameras to allow for more reaction shots and encore matches after scheduled matches have ended.
The Overwatch League was among the many esports venues and events affected by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020. It likely doesn’t help that Blizzard was forced to layoff a large number of employees related directly to esports. Nonetheless, OWL has continued to pivot to survive in a digital format and this improvement to the viewing experience can likely be considered a large part of that pivot. With little reason to stop being cautious or cease social distance safety measures anytime soon, Overwatch League has every reason to ensure those watching at home can do so in the best quality possible.
As Overwatch League 2021 prepares to kick off with a fresh schedule in April 2021, fans can look forward to a refreshed and upgraded way of watching it all. Stay tuned for further coverage when the matches start on April 16.