The out of nowhere announcement that Overwatch League would be moving from its previous home of Twitch to YouTube caught everyone off-guard. Not only did it mean a massive shift from a beloved platform to one in YouTube Gaming that is unproven, but it also meant a loss of certain Twitch-specific features for the dedicated viewer. Gone was the ability to watch individual players and their stream, as well as numerous camera options and emote options. Perhaps the biggest loss in translation and one that has continued to hover over this new season of OWL is the loss of token drops. We’ve talked about Twitch drops that players earn simply from watching streams before, but the OWL drops are different in that this was the only way to get tokens without paying real money. Well, Overwatch League token drops now return but in the most user-unfriendly, stupidest possible way.
Tokens are HERE
This is not a drill, you can now earn free league tokens for every hour you spend enjoying #OWL2020 live matches
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) May 20, 2020
Announced today by Blizzard, the new system for OWL token drops requires viewers to watch either on the Overwatch League official website or app while logged in, not on YouTube directly. According to the post, the restrictions are as follows:
Earn five League Tokens for every hour spent on Overwatch League platforms viewing live matches. Your viewing time is tracked continuously, so if you watch 30 minutes in one session and return later for another 30 minutes of viewing, you’ll get credit for that total accumulated hour. Viewing time only accrues by watching live matches on the Overwatch League website (desktop and mobile), and on the Overwatch League mobile apps (iOS and Android). League Tokens will be available in your Battle.net account after each completed hour of viewing. League Tokens can be used on all Overwatch game platforms (i.e., PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch).
This means that if your main method for viewing Overwatch League is through a streaming device such as a Roku, your PlayStation 4, or any other mechanism by which to watch in your living room then you’re going to be out of luck for earning OWL tokens. To make up for this Blizzard has raised the number of tokens earned per hour watch to five tokens, where it was three tokens a year ago on Twitch. It’s especially a shame that some way couldn’t be found to handle the tracking of viewer hours on YouTube natively, as navigating to the app and to the website runs the risk of seeing spoilers, especially for games played overseas in the Chinese regions that air at 2 a.m. eastern time.
It’s a bad change, but also better than no tokens at all. Token drops return starting this Friday for the Overwatch League Regional Tournaments, so remember to log in, link your Blizzard account or PSN account, and get them tokens.