Blizzard is known for hosting and running one of the most successful esports tournaments in the industry. The Overwatch League is successful in attracting millions of dollars in investments. It has also attracted sponsorship from well-known brands either directly to the league or via the individual franchise teams.
The Overwatch Contenders is the Tier 2 scene of Overwatch. It is a scouting ground for new players with a potential to join the League. The Contenders are divided into multiple regions and they have several amateur teams playing in them. The Overwatch Contenders and the entire scene below the Overwatch League, however, has received lots of criticism of late. The lack of money in the Tier 2 scene is unnerving for several aspiring professionals. Their inability to provide a decent economic structure to the Tier two scene does not speak well of the game’s potential as an esport.
Blizzard announces changes to the Korean Contenders Prize.
The Overwatch Contenders: Korea traditionally has had a prize money element as the reward. It was not a lot, but it was still real cash. In a very surprising move, Blizzard has decided to reward the Contenders winners with Battle Coins. These BattleCoins are virtual coins within the game. They do not have any real monetary value and are worthless outside of the game itself.
Yep, it’s real, the link is to the Open Division online application guide + schedule. 50 “Battlecoins” per player for the 1st place team, first and second place teams make it to Trials pic.twitter.com/KOiWy9wyzW
— Ana's Tal Mask (@gatamchun) November 21, 2018
Why is it wrong for Blizzard to standardize the rewards in all regions?
Handing out BattleCoins is not a new thing for Blizzard and the Overwatch Contenders. However, what is surprising is that Blizzard chose to ‘downgrade’ the Overwatch Contenders Korea to the level of other regions. Instead of adding a real money value to all Contenders winnings, Blizzard decided to remove Korea’s cash prize.
This definitely calls into doubt Blizzard’s vision of Overwatch’s future. There are many who do not understand how Blizzard plans to support the entire scene below the Overwatch League. With Season 2 set to start in February, we hope Blizzard provides us with enough details on the Contenders’ Future.