It’s unsure as to precisely where the blame should be pointed regarding the OWL tokens and the Overwatch League.
Call of Duty League has managed to somehow suffer the transition over to YouTube Gaming Live while offering in-game tokens for watching, yet for Overwatch players looking to roleplay as some of their favorite stars of the proverbial stage, it’s been a bit harder.
Token drops have been few and far between, and leaping through loopholes to gain tokens has become common for the Blizzard-led league. Watching via mobile devices that are running through the Blizzard application in order to grab the tokens, and even then they weren’t guaranteed to drop.
It’s admittedly a far cry from the simple user experience that Overwatch League competently offered on Twitch where tokens would be dropped easily into accounts for watching the streams and competition; yet another gaffe from the studio as they have opted to shift over to Youtube for multiple years in a move that many argue was the turning point in terms of viewership which Overwatch League has notably struggled with throughout the 2020 season.
Overwatch League has pushed out a statement regarding the lack of token drops over the past weekend and has stated that they are beginning to retroactively apply them to accounts.
Don’t get too excited; many are reporting 30 tokens at most for watching the entire weekend of play, so you’re not necessarily missing out on too much.
We apologize to fans who didn't receive token drops from watching this past weekend.
We're working now to retroactively award those drops to all eligible viewers globally. We expect this to be resolved before our Grand Finals viewership rewards program kicks off on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/MphS5zXPk1
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) October 6, 2020
If you want to ensure that you’re eligible for the token drops, which you can use to purchase in-game skins that allow you to represent your favorite colors, you’ll likely want to head over to the official Overwatch website; if you’re reading into that as Blizzard being nerfed by YouTube to the point that they need external hosting of the streams present on YouTube due to exclusivity contracts, then that is your prerogative.
Alternatively, a website has been circling that works with Overwatch League token drops and offers a chat experience that won’t get your Google account deleted by a YouTube staffer having a bad day, called GigaBrain.
Try https://t.co/z4eR8NHnr5 it’s very consistent
— Distortion (@Distortion_ow) October 6, 2020
Additionally, companion streams hosted by various personalities (such as Avast) are far easier to watch. You won’t be getting the experience that the All-Access Pass streams offered, with player views and customizable UI, but it’s a far cry greater than the YouTube stream itself.
The overall message, and one that is slowly gathering steam on forums for Overwatch League fans, is that Activision-Blizzard jumped the gun in a big way by shifting from Twitch over to YouTube, and some are arguing that the league won’t return to its splendor unless they are willing to pair with someone who has gaming, and esports, at its forefront.