Overwatch Contenders has been frustrating to follow, the players have been frustrated to play it, and it largely seems like a case of Blizzard needing to ‘defecate or get off the pot’ as support for the T2 league seems to ebb and flow based on perhaps Malaysian weather patterns, or something equally esoteric.
Contenders has long stood in the shadow of Tier 1 Overwatch, the Overwatch League, as a fundamental level within the ‘Path to Pro’ that has been skipped over, neglected, and bypassed by the arguable suffering levels of support that the Overwatch League themselves have been trudging through following a difficult 2020 season punctuated by COVID-19, a strange deal that brought Blizzard’s leagues over to YouTube from Twitch, and a loss of homestands that some alleged were primed to become a saving grace of organizations that have bought into the league.
Malaysia must be having some shifting winds, however, as it appears that players will soon actually be able to purchase Contenders skins, and this time it doesn’t appear to be a bug; fans will be able to actually support T2 Overwatch via visual cosmetics.
Be still our beating heart.
It’s worth noting that Contenders skins have been available before: when the final hero Echo came out, some reported being able to purchase Contenders skins for her; a bug which resulted in Blizzard removing the skins from those that have purchased them, and refunding the cost.
Dont think this is intended but you can now buy contenders skins for just Echo pic.twitter.com/s86ZjSbA4A
— Andy Bohan #Underdogs 🇮🇪 (@andygmb1) April 14, 2020
This time, however, it looks to be intentional from Blizzard, as the official PtP account has tweeted the arrival of the function soon.
👀 Thursday @ 9am Pacific 👀 This is an announcement of an announcement 👀 pic.twitter.com/8FgvBXBtOd
— Overwatch Path to Pro (@owpathtopro) October 13, 2020
It’s relatively simple to look back and ponder as to what T2, and thus Overwatch League as a whole could look like if they were readily supported throughout the lifespan of the tier, but at this point it’s like crying over spilled milk; it does little to further anyone’s agenda.
This does bode well for the next season coming to fruition; it appears as though Blizzard is steadily ramping up support rather than beginning to draw down, and with the eventual arrival of Overwatch 2 it makes sense that a singular year of comparably poor performance isn’t going to suddenly undermine the past half-decade of work from executives and marketing.
Further, it could show that Blizzard is getting ready to actually support T2; they’ve recently began mentioning the T2 scene on the Overwatch League website, and now in-game skins are alluding to the idea that Blizzard has once again remembered that Contenders exist.
How long until they forget again?