Since the Overwatch League had its debut game in January 2018, the league has experienced some ups and downs. Even though there has been some scandal and controversy, the League has been more successful than anyone originally thought. What are some of the things that have gotten them to this point, and what things could lead to downfall? Reports by IGN were used for details presented in this article.


Lack of structure - While there are several aspects of the Overwatch League that credit it a serious organization, there are many things that have come up that show a certain lack of structure.

Overwatch is not necessarily known for the respectfulness amongst players, but there was a fair amount of toxicity when the league first got going. There were several issues with homophobic remarks from player to player and disrespectfulness in meme form. However, the OWL has released a copy of their strict code of conduct and has taken action against the players that have threatened the harmony of the Overwatch League.

Another thing that shows a little lack of structure is the commentators and desk announcers. In one of the recent matches I was watching, one of the personalities at the main desk was wearing a jacket given to him by the Philidelphia Fusion. It is understandable that the commentators will have their favorite teams and players; however, from a professional standpoint, this information should be kept private.

In addition, some of the comments that these sportscasters make about the teams are uncalled for. It is one thing to talk about a team's standings, strategy, and changes they can make to potentially help them, but it is not necessary to say things that can be hurtful and harsh. For example, on more than one occasion I have heard the casters say thing along the lines of teams not having a chance to beat another team and that its as if they did not try.

This is not necessary and does not have a place in a broadcast that should be a neutral place for teams and fans.

Public relations - It is no secret that there have been some PR issues in regards to the Overwatch League. There have been issues amongst players and issues with player and fan interactions. Even though many of these players have their own streams and their own fanbase, most are not used to popularity at this level.

The OWL had 10 million viewers in the first week, and that is an entirely new level of people that now follow various players and teams. A few of the players have even had to take time off from playing because the pressure of being great has given them issues with depression and anxiety. The players are obviously a huge part of the success of the OWL and the charm of the teams. If the Overwatch League could give some tools to their players to help prepare them for this level of success it could not only help with the player's happiness but also the other PR issues that have surfaced.

The number of teams - Obviously, this is not something that can change right this minute, but if the OWL does not expand it could be detrimental.

The teams that are a part of the Overwatch League so far are fantastic, dynamic, and interesting, but if more teams were added it would only benefit the OWL. More teams would pull more fans and, in turn, more revenue for Blizzard and the League. If they do not expand the teams of the OWL it could lead to the fans becoming disinterested.


Commentators - Now this aspect of the Overwatch League has a variety of opinions on the commentators and whether or not they are a good thing or a bad thing. As a viewer myself, I would be lost without the commentators. "Overwatch" is already a very fast-paced game and when you have professional gamers playing this game at a faster, high-stress level, sometimes its needed to have a commentator keeping you in line.

Even though they may say some very negative things about the teams, these people really keep the game interesting and keep the excitement level raised.

Players - The players that make up the Overwatch League teams are the best of the best. Normally, the stigma would suggest that this level of skill could lead to arrogance, but that does not seem like the case for the OWL gamers. Most of the players have an innocent and charming nature about them, making each team enjoyable to watch. In addition to their wonderful attitudes, they are also incredibly talented when it comes to playing "Overwatch," and this does amazing things for the League and the game in general. It is great for people to learn new strategies and tips from the best and the Overwatch League does a great job of showcasing all the things that the players have to offer.

Fans - While the commentators and players make up a lot of vital aspects of the Overwatch League, the fans are the heart. Each week viewers see more and more from the fans and how much they contribute to the community of "Overwatch." There is such a passion for the sport and the game demonstrated from the fans that attend Blizzard Arena in the form of cosplays, fan signs, and emotion for their teams. As the season progresses, we also see a lot of fan support outside the arena. There are not only Facebook groups, fan pages, and team Instagrams but also large gatherings in local bars where fans congregate to show their support. Without the fans, the Overwatch League would be lost.

As we approach the final leg of the inaugural season, we look forward to how the Overwatch League will embrace their successes and failures to improve on future seasons.