The Call of Duty League (CDL) announced today that you will soon be able to earn in-game rewards or "drops" if you watch CDL shows, and the Overwatch League seems to be teasing that drops are on the way too. The announcement follows Activision Blizzard and the YouTube multi-year contract announced in January, which made Google's own video platform the exclusive streaming partner for Activision's esport leagues.
To receive the rewards, according to a CDL blog post, you need to watch live games on the CDL website or in the Call of Duty Companion app while signed in to your Activision account. The rewards include team emblems, sprays and animated business cards and are cross-platform.
Picture: Call of Duty League
There are still no precise details on what could come for the Overwatch League, but here's the tweet teasing that some kind of reward is the way to go for the Friday games:
Overwatch League offered drops when it was streamed exclusively on Twitch. So it would not be surprising if similar functions were offered again now that the league is broadcast on YouTube. And Call of Duty and Overwatch (assuming Blizzard's game is dropped too) aren't the first titles to use YouTube's drop function. Epic Games offered free Fortnite cosmetics for the Fortnite World Cup on YouTube last July.
Beyond Activision, Drops have been a hugely successful tool to help other esport heavyweight riot games build hype for the upcoming tactical shooter Valorant, which is currently in beta. Riot initially passed the beta on to a select number of people and slowly distributed more keys to viewers who were prepared for Valorant streams. Fans trying to get the coveted beta access to Valorant watched 334 million hours of the game in April.
Call of Duty League and Overwatch League are unlikely to get comparable numbers with their in-game rewards, as Riot offered access to a much more sought-after unpublished beta version of the game. But the drops could encourage more fans to get involved in live matches to get loot in the game.