The Overwatch League's 2021 season will launch a mix of new and revived features when it begins April 16, including watch rewards, clip functionality and 4K resolution streaming.
Starting with the Overwatch League Flash Ops Experimental Card Tournament, set for March 27-28, fans will be able to link their Blizzard accounts to their YouTube accounts. Doing so and watching matches will earn League Tokens that can be redeemed for Overwatch League cosmetics, including two new Legendary skins and a spray designed by broadcast team member Soe Gschwind.
Overwatch League to Stream in 4K, Revive Drops and Clips
Drops were a powerful viewership draw in the league's first season, when it was available to watch on Twitch. Another feature from that era, the ability to clip the action as it happened, will come to the YouTube this season.
On the visuals side of the broadcast, matches will now be broadcast in 4K for the first time. That also applies to the new, always-on player cameras. When a player's perspective is shown on-screen, their player cam will also appear on-screen. Blizzard also plans to incorporate more player comms into the broadcast.
To better accommodate its global audience, the Overwatch League will air encore broadcasts of 24 matches featuring teams from all over the league. These encore broadcasts, all of which begin at 12:30 p.m. ET and lead into that day's Watchpoint for the West region, will allow viewers to earn viewership rewards and participate in a live chat. See the full list of encore matches on the Overwatch League site.
A new match score ticker and accompanying spoiler-free mode will appear on broadcasts, allowing fans to see or hide match results, the schedule and standings at will.