On June 21, the Overwatch League released a skin dedicated to the 2018 OWL MVP, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang. This marked the first time that a specific pro player got their own personalized in-game skin. The sort of crossover that fans didn’t know they needed until they saw JJoNaK’s skin. Seeing this skin had Reddit and fans all across the globe asking, “What’s next?”
But, this crossover also raises the question of what future crossovers may be in store for the OWL and Overwatch moving ahead. Will this be an honor strictly reserved for OWL MVP’s, or could there be an opportunity for more that is simply too good to pass up? Or, is the more reasonable move to have small, hidden homages to famous players hidden within the game and within other skins, reserving fully personalized skins for champions and MVPs?
These are questions one could reasonably answer in a lot of different ways. On the one hand, it could be damaging and possibly cheapen these skins if people who are simply likable or who have had a great career streaming all manage to get one. There’s also a chance this skin took a lot of time and effort to make while working with JJoNaK and doing so with several players would likely take away from work being done on seasonal OW events.
Brainstorming Potential Candidates
Despite the apparent challenges that would surface, consider that the developers deem this a worthy project to expand on and continue to make more skins for OWL players and personalities. At that point, who would be next?
A Former Legend
One of the first names to come to mind was Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka, a former professional OW player who passed away in November of 2017. INTERNETHULK was a pillar of the community and, to honor his legacy, the OWL announced a yearly award in his name with the first recipient being former teammate, Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod.
Although Dennis never got to take the OWL stage himself, his legacy has a permanent impact on the league. What better way to continue this than a Winston skin that looks like the Hulk, or something in that vein. The skin could simply be called “Dennis” or “I-Hulk.”
Other popular OWL players and former OWL players include Brandon “Seagull” Larned, Lane “Surefour” Roberts, Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim and many more. These three all have great personalities to build off of and would make for some incredible in-game skins. C’mon, who doesn’t want a Frog Queen D.Va skin?
All in all, these are just an initial launching point and are by no means an exhaustive list of what could be in store. But, if developers and the league do end up collaborating to celebrate the league’s favorite players, fans can be certain they’ll be seeing some of these names mentioned in the conversation.
These suggestions could be an excellent way for the league to continue to bolster it’s player narratives and personalities while simultaneously giving the casual player a brand new skin to get excited about. It goes past the generic OWL team skins into something much more personal and, honestly, much more badass.
And, who knows, maybe seeing JJoNaK’s Zenyatta skin will prompt the casual player to tune into the OWL next weekend? From there, maybe the new viewer sees JJoNaK play that Zenyatta in a way that inspires them and turns them into a lifelong fan of the league. If this is reasonable and the league is full of players full of personality, this could be an excellent opportunity to bring new fans along for the ride.
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
You can also shoot me a line on Discord! (GoopyKnoopy#2205)
Featured Image Courtesy of the Overwatch League
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
“From Our Haus to Yours”