The new Overwatch League season is set to begin in just a few days. As players report back for this latest campaign, fans get ready to follow their favorite team and their favorite players. While Blizzard has made efforts to make following player stats easier over the past few years, it's about to take its biggest step yet, thanks to the team at IBM. On Tuesday, the Overwatch League announced its new player ranking system, which will be powered by IBM Watson.
Here's how Blizzard explains the process, via the Overwatch League website:
Power Rankings with IBM Watson uses AI algorithms — developed by a team of data scientists at IBM along with experts at the league — to examine every moment of every match in the Overwatch League. That data is then used to pick out the stats that correlate to win outcomes and rank the players and teams that are best at making those things happen. Every week, we will provide a comprehensive list of the top performers in the league on the Power Rankings with IBM Watson page of our website.
The IBM Watson algorithm will rate players by overall score, as well as by position: Support, DPS, and Tank. Teams will also be rated by cumulative score. The Overwatch League Power Rankings will be updated every Monday, the day following each weekend's slate of games. Analysts will weigh in on the rankings every Wednesday, the day before the next week's batch of games. Blizzard expects that the sophisticated IBM Watson algorithm will learn more over time, leading to more accurate Power Rankings as the season goes on.
Season 4 of the Overwatch League begins on April 16 and will feature a $4.25 million USD prize pool. The first three weeks of competition will act as qualifiers for the May 7 "May Melee" tournament, which will feature a $225,000 USD prize pool.