Twitch is all aboard the Overwatch League train, which makes sense, considering that the streaming service reportedly paid $90 million for a ticket. Now it’s offering Overwatch players incentives to tune in.
Today Twitch announced that, in collaboration with Blizzard, it’s gonna start offering in-game rewards to Overwatch League viewers. If you link your Battle.net account with your Twitch account, you’ll be able to earn League Tokens—which are a special Overwatch currency that you can use to buy OWL character skins, as opposed to regular skins—by watching. Each completed map you view live will grant you one League Token, and “a percentage of viewers” who see the final map of a broadcast will score 100 League Tokens, aka enough to buy one skin. It’s a canny move, given that viewership tends to fluctuate and, sometimes, drop off over the course of OWL broadcasts, especially when the final match isn’t meaningful.
While the above option is also available on MLG and Overwatch League’s website, Twitch will be the only place that lets you “cheer” with “bits” in order to unlock “content.” Bits are a for-purchase currency on Twitch that allow you to cheer for streamers in chat and, in effect, toss a few coins into their cup. Soon, you’ll be able to cheer on Overwatch League teams and earn “in-game hero skins that will be exclusive for a period of time, as well as emotes and team-branded items” in the process. There will also be a leaderboard to track the top cheerers, because Twitch loves gamifying everything, and I doubt they mind that gamifying team-based tribalism will earn them money.