Overwatch League Viewers Can Now Earn Skins, Emotes, And More Just By Watching

by Andrew Reiner on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:01 PM

The second stage of Overwatch League kicks off today, and people who tune in to the matches on Twitch have a chance to earn virtual League Tokens, in-game rewards, and more just by watching. Overwatch League and Twitch state this new program will "represent the future of the online experience for esports fans."

The program begins with something called Overwatch League Cheering, a Twitch-based feature that rewards players for cheering with a virtual item called Bits. Viewers who participate with Bits can unlock limited-time Overwatch League home-team hero skins, emotes, and team-branded items. Your Bit usage is also tracked via a leaderboard that shows who has cheered the most. Bits are a service-wide item for Twitch, and can already be used to support affiliates and partners. Viewers can earn them in various ways, or purchase them outright. To use a Bit, you simply need to type "cheer" into the chat along with the number of Bits you wish to use.

If you don't want to shower teams and players with praise, you will still earn League Tokens just by watching a match through to its conclusion. All viewers will earn just one League Token for watching a match, but a percentage of these people will randomly be awarded 100 Tokens. You'll first need to link your Blizzard Battle.net account with Twitch, MLG.com, or OverwatchLeague.com to be able to earn the virtual currency.

At a later date, Twitch plans to release a VIP ticket that will grant viewers more access to the league with behind-the-scenes videos, even more in-game items, and more.

"More innovations are in the pipeline," says Mike Minton, a senior director at Twitch. "It's already a one-of-a-kind approach that will resonate with fans who want the ultimate live shared experience online."


Our Take
This is a great way for Blizzard to get more people to watch Overwatch League. I don't think anyone will complain about being able to earn free stuff just for tuning in. The Bits component is a bit worrisome, however, as Overwatch players once again feel squeeze of wanting new skins that are on a timer. If you aren't fortunate enough to earn 100 Tokens (which is enough to buy a skin), you may need to purchase Bits, and have to cheer your heart out to get it.