Nate Nanzer has confirmed that the extended stats API for the Overwatch League was made public by accident.
Fans were excited after map stats finally appeared in the official Overwatch League app, detailing eliminations, deaths, damage dealt and healing done for each player in a given map.
More interestingly for many, however, was that an extended stats API became available online, giving fans access to more detailed stats for the first time, everything from total critical hits to average time on the objective per minute.
Unfortunately, it seems this information was not meant to be made public, at least not yet. In response to the reddit post that discovered the API, Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer announced that its appearance was unintentional, and that Blizzard would “turn it back off”.
“In a recent update to our mobile products, we unintentionally deployed access to an expanded stats API in the code. You guys are on the ball and quickly discovered it. While we appreciate the enthusiastic response, that content was not intended for public consumption at this time, and we’re going to turn it back off. We will continue to provide stats on OverwatchLeague.com and the Overwatch League app, and we’re working to improve all aspects of the fan experience in the future. We appreciate your passion and patience throughout this process!”
Stats have been a point of some contention throughout the lifespan of competitive Overwatch. Blizzard made the choice originally to hide statistics from Overwatch players in order to dissuade the negativity that can be generated when players target team-mates that are performing badly.
By only showing players’ personal stats, Blizzard hoped to take away a tool often used to validate abusive behaviour against weaker players, a decision they have stuck to throughout the life of the game.
When it comes to competition, however, statistics can be a vital tool for game analysis at the highest level, both for the purpose of punditry and improvement on the part of players and teams. For the Overwatch League, teams have reportedly been given access to in-depth stats, but the extent of statistics available to the public remains limited.
Though it seems fans may have to wait for a more extended range – perhaps until Season Two, which is scheduled to kick off in 2019 – Nanzer’s statement that the API wasn’t intended for release “at this time” perhaps offers hope that Blizzard does indeed plan to release further stats at some point in the future.