Can Contenders keep the Overwatch talent pipeline alive?
For all of you looking to itch that scratch for some high-quality, competitive Overwatch, the wait is almost over as the 2022 Overwatch League season is about to begin. While the game has lost interest over the last few years since Overwatch 2 was announced, we believe that Overwatch is definitely going to rise from the ashes with the latest news.
The question that is on my mind is: Can Contenders bring enough fresh talent to keep the scene alive?
What is planned for OWC in 2022?
While the OWL will still be having the best of the best, Overwatch Contenders (OWC) in 2022 will open the doors for all of that new talent that is going to pour in as Overwatch 2 becomes accessible to more people.
Considering that OWL is currently not in the best spot, things do not look that great for OWC. However, I believe that the Overwatch 2 release, even in beta form, will be more than enough to bring back interest in this exciting esport. There are going to be events across five different regions, just like in 2021, which are North America, Europe, China, South Korea, and Australia/New Zealand. While it might seem a bit hard to believe that there will be enough players with enough skill and interest to cover all of these regions, the hefty prize pool for 2022 Contenders of 1.3 million USD should not be underestimated.
However, we do not see much interest or traffic going towards Overwatch lately, which might point towards Overwatch dying “finally”.
What caused Overwatch to repel players?
Back when Overwatch 2 was announced a few years back, a lot of players decided to drop the game because they thought that nothing from Overwatch 1 was going to transfer into the new game. For some reason, the question of whether this is true was left in the air for quite a while, which is one of the biggest reasons why people decided to quit the game, and with it, there was a big lack of new talent.
Of course, it was only recently confirmed that all of the unlocks will be transferred, which is slowly bringing back players to the game. As Overwatch 2 beta in April was announced, many big streamers, like xQc, decided to get back in action and hype up the game (surprisingly, without being paid to promote it).
While we definitely believe that there will be some fantastic new talent in Overwatch Contenders that will be played on Overwatch 2, when it comes to viewers, we are not sure how that is going to go. The viewership might not peak in huge numbers as it did before, but as Overwatch 2 becomes more accessible to people and as it nears its official release, we think that the viewership numbers are going to become more prominent than ever, or at least we hope that is going to be the case.
Step one would be for Contenders to attract new talent in droves.