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Interview

"Look at us now!" OW Caster Jamerson on OWL haters and obstacles

By Josh Lee
Oct 16, 2017
Overwatch Caster, James "Jamerson" Lee, addresses the community criticism and obstacles that the OWL faces.

Going into the future, what’s the greatest obstacle you see for the development of the Overwatch League?

So, one of the biggest obstacles that a lot of different e-sports leagues and titles have seen has been developing that amateur talent, right?

League of Legends - it was very difficult because, well, when was it? Season Two. They tried that whole, "Hey get your ranked fives group. If you guys end up first, then you guys can compete and try to get in LCS.” All this other stuff.

But it's not the same kind of environment when you're running ranked 5s or ranked 6s and so Overwatch can't do that.

Counter-Strike - you had ESEA, right, and you can find your pug stars. But it's... you really do need that amateur league that like minor league to really develop it.

And so while Contenders is in place for Overwatch League to develop the talent, there needs to be a lot more incentive I would say. I imagine, you know, as this continues to ramp up, Contenders is going to see a lot more money... a lot more production value.

And, well, the prize money alone will entice endemic orgs to stay within it even if they're not signed or partnered with an Overwatch League franchise. So, hopefully they continue to develop contenders you know maybe bump it up to 2-300K per season if there's two seasons a year and continue to broadcast it.

Also I would also like to see with Open division to build up a framework where developing talent in terms of broadcast talent can actually you know sign up to cast these games. They follow whatever blizzard guidelines do that themselves because you need to develop both the player talent and the broadcast talent.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I think one of the biggest gripes I've had... one of the biggest chips on my shoulder for the last year or so since the announcement of Overwatch League was just how impatient everyone with the Overwatch League.

And, for the most part, rightly so. But their heart... you know their heart was always in the right place. It's Blizzard. They love their title. Team 4 loves Overwatch. They love their title.

You have to understand that if there was some radio silence it was for a good reason. And that was like the hardest thing to try and tell everyone and not get frustrated about.

Right, like sure. I have like some tidbits of information here or there but nothing really where I can confirm. Like, “Oh yeah we're going to get this information or this information there,” but they just had to have faith.

I'm immensely surprised by what Blizzard has accomplished especially with this arena here in the short amount of time that they've actually had it. And it goes to show once again what passion can really do can really create.

And so I hope that a lot of those naysayers out there, you know, a lot of people like in Twitch chat, "Ohh. Overwatch is a dead game?"

Whatever. Look at us now.

Look at us now.

Interview
Josh Lee profile
Josh Lee
Josh is the lead Overwatch Producer at Blitz Esports. He's also been spotted casting a few Overwatch and League of Legends tournaments.
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