Ex-Overwatch League caster MonteCristo blasts OWL's low viewership - Dexerto
Esports

Ex-Overwatch League caster MonteCristo blasts OWL’s low viewership

Published: 13/Apr/2020 0:15 Updated: 23/Apr/2020 13:01

by Bill Cooney

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Former Overwatch League Caster Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles threw a bit of shade at his former employer on April 12 when he took a shot at the League’s comparatively small audience on YouTube.

Monte moved on from the OWL following the 2019 season, and has since joined on with the broadcast talent of Flashpoint Season 1 – the new Counter-Strike organization-owned league headed by Cloud9 and Immortals.

The Overwatch League also made the move from broadcasting all of their matches on Twitch to showing them exclusively on YouTube for the 2020 season, which has potentially contributed to a drop in viewership.

Overwatch League
Blizzard Entertainment
2020 is the first year the OWL has broadcast exclusively on YouTube.

Unlike on Twitch, viewers who watch OWL matches on YouTube can no longer automatically earn Tokens, in-game currency that’s used to purchase skins, which could be a contributing factor to why they’re seeing less average viewers than they did on Twitch, a fact Monte couldn’t help but point out.

“One of the best skills you can hone in your career,” Monte posted, along with images of both leagues viewer numbers. “Is knowing when to just get the f*ck out.”

Sure enough, Overwatch League had roughly 28,000 viewers watching, while Flashpoint on Twitch was racking up close to 40,000 at the same time.

To be fair though, Monte’s Flashpoint was struggling to break 1,500 viewers on YouTube, but that’s part of the advantage of being broadcast on multiple platforms, as Flashpoint is.

Whether or not the Overwatch League’s viewership numbers have actually tanked as drastically over the last year as so many have claimed is up for some debate.

Esports insider Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau countered that OWL and CDL as well sold to YouTube for $160 million over 3 years, while Flashpoint has yet to see such a lucrative offer.

“While this sounds good,” Monte admitted. “It ignores the franchise fees, production costs, extensive personnel costs, and more.”

Whether or not Flashpoint is in a better position than the Overwatch League is, or vice versa, remains to be seen, but Monte certainly seems to be relieved that he got away from his former gig when he did.

League of Legends

Jensen on Liquid’s Worlds 2021 hopes: “This roster has the most potential”

Published: 24/Jan/2021 3:41 Updated: 24/Jan/2021 11:18

by Andrew Amos

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Team Liquid and Nicolaj ‘Jensen’ Jensen left Shanghai after Worlds 2020 disappointed. Now, with a roster primed for international competition, the Danish Mid Laner believes he’s finally got his chance to win a World Championship — and it all starts at LCS Lock In.

Team Liquid’s 2020 campaign failed to live up to standards. Ninth in Spring meant they barely made it to Worlds after a Summer resurgence. Once in Shanghai, they struggled up through Play-Ins, making it to Groups, but not much further.

However, 2021 is a new chapter. In fact, it could be the brightest chapter in the book so far. Liquid are carrying one of the brightest hopes for North America on the international stage for quite some time, and Jensen is at the center of it.

The strongest Team Liquid in LCS history

Liquid made two big roster moves this off-season. They dropped jungler Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen after just one year for Lucas ‘Santorin’ Larsen. They also imported former Rogue top laner Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris for stalwart Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-young.

It’s given the roster a new dimension. There’s no more memes about Broxah’s champion pool. It’s the most well-rounded Liquid roster in history, and that’s what Jensen believes gives his team the upper hand.

Broxah and Impact playing for Liquid at Worlds 2020
David Lee for Riot Games
Liquid dropped Broxah and Impact (both pictured) after their disappointing 2020 run.

“Last year we were way too one-dimensional. We were pretty much a super predictable team in how we wanted to play the game, but now we’re a team that will be a lot harder to prepare against because we have a lot more flexibility,” he told Dexerto.

Despite being in the same region for years, 2021 marks the first time Jensen has partnered with Danish counterpart Santorin in the jungle. Both went to Worlds 2020, only to be sent home in groups. While their practice has been a bit stunted due to visa issues, the two are building a synergy like never before.

“I talked a lot with him about how mid-jungle should be played, and we’ve had a lot of talks back and forth about that stuff, and we played some duo queue here and there. We talk a lot about what team comps specifically in mid-jungle we want to play, and how we want to play it, so we’re always on the same page when it comes down to the game,” he said.

This Liquid roster has already put on a showing at LCS Lock In, finishing second in their group behind 100 Thieves. Their only loss came without their full strength roster ⁠— Armao was subbing in for Santorin. Despite being a pre-season tournament, they’ve got their eyes on winning, although that’s not the ultimate goal.

“Obviously we want to win the whole thing ideally, but we’re seeing this as an opportunity to get to know each other a bit more in game and learning to play different styles. It’s more so a learning experience because we’ve only been practicing with Santorin for one week, so we’re being realistic about it as well. Learning is the most important thing.”

Jensen at LCS Summer 2019 finals
Riot Games
Jensen is done with domestic glory though. He wants international success.

Aiming for international success at Worlds 2021

This Team Liquid roster isn’t built to just win the LCS, though. It’s meant to be a world beater. Jensen hasn’t yet made a Worlds Final. His last two attempts have ended early in groups. He’s made the semifinals once, and quarters twice.

But, with this new Liquid roster, he hopes he can finish his career with at least one Summoner’s Cup in his trophy cabinet to go alongside his two LCS titles.

“This roster was put together to have the best chance at winning an international tournament.” Jensen confidently said. “The past few years haven’t worked out too well for us, but this roster has the most potential out of any roster I’ve been on to have a long shot internationally.”

The only issue facing Liquid is back home. The LCS’ top-heavy nature isn’t conducive to good practice. However, with a more competitive league on the cards in 2021 ⁠— filled to the brim with rookies and exciting new talent ⁠— NA might not have to play catch-up come October.

“We definitely have the potential,” he said. “But just from my experience, usually how the NA teams become good is by practicing against the other regions more so than internally. Hopefully we will have good competition here, and good teams here, and not just us ⁠— if even us.

“It feels like every time we’ve gone to Worlds we’ve been playing catch up with the other regions, so that’s made it a bit harder. I don’t think the players here by any means are individually worse than the other regions, so hopefully this time it’ll be different.”

Jensen and Broxah playing for Team Liquid
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games
Jensen’s Liquid is the team to beat in the LCS in 2021.

The LCS is Jensen’s home, not Europe

Although he’s got his NA residency, there was a very real possibility Jensen returned home to Europe in 2021. After all, the region has vastly outperformed NA at all international events ⁠— including beating Jensen’s Liquid at MSI 2019.

However, Jensen is too far gone now. As he enters his sixth year in the LCS, he has no intentions of ever moving.

“It’s something I was heavily considering just for this year, but the more I thought about it ⁠— I really enjoy living here. It’s not so nice right now because of [the current global situation], but I enjoy living here a lot, and to be honest, I don’t think the gap is that big on the top teams,” he said.

“Unless their roster would have been significantly better in Europe, it wouldn’t have been something I would have considered. The roster we have right now, I think we can beat any of the European teams. I feel more comfortable living here, and I think that’s what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my career.”

Liquid play FlyQuest in their LCS Lock In quarterfinal on January 24 at 4PM PT / 7PM ET.