Blizzard has trouble supporting the streamers of Overwatch: people that both play the game regularly and engage the viewers that are still watching casually. Blizzard recently announced the Community Countdown for the Overwatch League, a lighthearted event to bring the fans together and start off the season on a high note.
Wednesday, February 13 is the last day of the Community Countdown and will feature a match of broadcast talent and streamers hashing it out. However, the list of streamers being brought in to play shows a big problem with Blizzard Entertainment’s handing of their community.
Of this list, seven players are streamers: Andrew “KarQ‘ Trulli, Jeff “Emongg” Anderson, Jared “CowboyBeBAMF” Gilmore, Francine “FRAN“, Tom “Stylosa” Stewart, Jung-Min “Mirage” Bae and Lee “LEETAEJUN” Tae. These are all great members of the community that deserve this opportunity for exposure, but there are so many other streamers that grind the game and are never recognized by Blizzard.
Blizzard also has events that enable loot drops for certain Overwatch streamers. There was the D.Va Nano Cola challenge and Ana Bastet event where viewers got in-game skins for watching streamers. This is meant to bring the player count of the game up and bring viewers to streams. However, for this event, certain streamers never got drops enabled — streamers that play the game all the time and deserve exposure.
Blizzard is willing to bring exposure to the streamers that follow their code of conduct, not those who are gaining a strong following and inadvertently keeping their game alive. Blizzard has certain personalities blacklisted because they criticize the developer’s flaws.
For example Félix “xQc” Lengyel is a prime example of Blizzard not supporting their streamers. Félix was the biggest Overwatch streamer on Twitch, bringing in thousands of viewers a day. However he would often criticize the game and be toxic, Blizzard banned his main account so many times that xQc decided to switch to variety streaming.
Félix is an extreme case, but other Overwatch streamers that pull in good numbers every time they go online are not supported by Blizzard, here are some of those streamers:
These are just a few members of the community that are not supported by Blizzard. If they stream to thousands of viewers and keep Blizzard’s game alive, shouldn’t they get noticed? Other companies treat their questionable streamers the same way, but some have realized that supporting those streamers benefits everyone.
Learn From Riot Games
Tyler “tyler1lol” Steinkamp is a notorious League of Legends streamer. Tyler was once indefinitely banned from League for toxicity. However, tyler1 pulled in tens of thousands of viewers on Twitch, and Riot games eventually came to a realization: he is keeping this game relevant.
After years of fighting with Tyler, Riot Games decided to support him and featured him in showmatches with WWE wrestlers. In addition, he attended the NALCS Summer Finals. These events were massive hits, bringing viewers both to League of Legends and to Tyler’s stream.
Riot Games got past what Tyler1 said and did, and now they get along and help each other. If Riot Games can do it with loltyler1, then Blizzard can do it with their streamers.
Blizzard Can Do It Too
Overwatch has an amazing community of streamers that grind the game day in and day out because they want to play. Without the proper care from Blizzard, these streamers could move on to something new, leaving the company with a game nobody cares about. Instead of only supporting streamers that follow their code of conduct, Blizzard should support all of their community while they still have one.
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Featured image courtesy of Overwatch League
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