The OWLs Nest is CheckpointXP’s official podcast for the Overwatch League. Every episode Robbie Landis is joined by Jake Lyon to discuss the latest league moves, matches, and more. In this episode, Robbie and Jake look back on the challenges of 2020 and how the Overwatch League handled them.
It’s All Make or Break
It seems like more than a year ago that the 2020 Overwatch League season started. Some of the critics of the league had said homestands would be the make or break. The most recent in a line of apparent ‘make or break’ scenarios. The first season was the concept itself of geo-located teams. Then expansion teams so early were make or break. The homestands, like everything before it went according to plan and by and large, were a huge success.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic that shook and shut down the wold over. Half the league had to go on hiatus as they tried to figure out how to navigate in the quarantined world. Esports had an inherent advantage over a lot of the entertainment industries since they could still operate online. That doesn’t mean it was easy sailing for the Overwatch League. Online matches and separating the league into two conferences posed their own challenges.
Keeping the Meta Fresh
Adding to the issues presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the league still had to deal with the issues inherent with esports. With the swap from Twitch to YouTube and with viewership all online now due to no homestands, the league needed something to keep people engaged. In order to avoid another season-long meta like 3 tanks and 3 supports back in the 2019 season, Hero Pools were introduced. The hero pools provided their own set of issues and challenges, but through several iterations, they were making the game more interesting for all involved. Along with the introduction of month-long tournament formats, the league seemed to be handling everything fine.
Jake and Robbie break down each of these challenges through the 2020 season and discuss how they were handled. How could the lessons learned from each of these instances play into the future of the Overwatch League? Only time will tell.
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