The Premier World League is finishing up its first season this weekend, April 28-30, with a playoff featuring the best of the best PS4 Overwatch players. Teams will face off live on stream all three days, with a rotating crew of shoutcasters and analysts on hand to guide the audience through the action. The weekend will start off with a pre-qualifier on Friday for the Amateur World League (AWL), giving two teams a chance at a seed in the PWL playoffs, and continue into those playoffs on Saturday and Sunday. The winning team will walk away with a cash prize pool, some serious exposure, and a whole lot of bragging rights. Those interested in tuning in to watch the epic conclusion can do so at www.twitch.tv/PWLeague, or check out the games on YouTube later on if you can’t make it this weekend.
Now, before you get out your pitchforks and torches, PC gamers, the console competitive scene is alive and well, kept alive by the dedication of those who love the game. One such dedicated individual is the Commissioner of the PWL, who goes only by Brett. We got in touch with Brett before the tournament to get his thoughts on the first season of the league, the future of the console competitive scene, and of course, his “Power Rankings” going into the playoffs!
GOLDSTREAMZ: “My first question is pretty broad. How has the first season gone so far? What kind of challenges have you faced, what are some of the things you’re proud of, etc?”
BRETT: “For such a drastic switch and one that required literally help from everyone, the people who wanted to become staff, the people who could stream, the people who could cast and just everyone in the community who needed to support it, I’d say the first season has gone great. We have obviously had some hiccups and I think we have rebounded well from them and are in a position to avoid them again in the future. We’ve had some awesome competition, some great support from the community and it really has refreshed my love for doing this stuff. As far as challenges go it’s the same-old-same-old. Teams being right on time for streams to keep moving on so we don’t lose numbers is something I lose sleep about, fairly figuring out how qualifiers should work is another, and then honestly just operating streams. We give MegaMulani a lot of grief for throwing and what not but the dude does a really good job of getting casters and streamers and teams in the lobby. We will always need new streamers and casters so that’s huge for us. And things I’m proud of well honestly is the whole thing. We have about 20 teams super active again, which is the highest it’s been in a while. We have peaked at almost 130 viewers within the first month, our Twitter is active, our Discord is active. I’m really proud of the way this community responded because I feel strongly that this was and is our last chance to make this work.”
G: “Awesome stuff. Next question is a little more specific. Where do you see areas of growth in the future? Thoughts of doing tournaments, looking for sponsorships, maybe going for that new Twitch affiliate program and eventually partnership?”
B: “I think we can grow as much as we want ourselves to, and by discovering some new communities with active Overwatch players, we are looking at branching out and trying to bring in more teams and players. As for our stream, YouTube and social media we have some plans to try and advertise the stream and bring in more viewers which has been working well, but again with the 600+ people in our Discord, if just half of them tuned in every night and watched we would be pulling in great numbers every night. So it comes down to how big WE as a community want this to grow. We have recently been chosen for the Twitch Affiliate program, we are going to hopefully have that set up this weekend, so that’s cool and we are looking forward to growing from there. Sponsors are something we also will be actively pursuing when the time is right, we just wanted to make sure we were focusing on getting a league up and running with streams first. And tournaments of course will be coming in the future as well. When we see some down time or some sponsors come into the scene those are things we will want for sure.”
G: “Next one is about the work you yourself have had to do for the league. I know you’ve put in time casting, recruiting, playing, and a whole lot else. Could you talk about your role as Commissioner and why you decided to take on that huge responsibility?”
B: “I do a lot of stuff, and that’s because I love doing it. I do really love this community I’d say close to 90% of it I’d consider my friends, and that really does make it easy. I love casting and playing obviously, and honestly just love seeing this community and league become a thing. The rivalries, friendships and all around great matches it’s produced are awesome to me. But with that being said, I wouldn’t be running this league without the help of some really important staff members, and if you want to cut this you can but I’d actually like to say them by name. Scorchy and Hojin my Discord backbones, Sauce, Silent, and Primera for keeping me focused and to avoid throwing, Mega for throwing, Ramzee and Folkonz with GFX, Ball for the website work, Salby and Egg for the memes and Vholtz and Kebron being the muscle. I need these people, they make my life so much easier, and as I said I would not be running this league without them.”
G: “Oh I’m definitely keeping those names in there, I recognize all of them myself from the work they’ve done to keep the league running on a day to day basis. Glad you shouted them out. I do have one more after this one, but concerning the playoffs this weekend: you’ve done Power Rankings in the past, and we’ve seen a more updated version pretty recently. One last time, with a day left to go, give us a rundown. Who are your favorites to come out on top in the AWL qualifier, and which team do you think will be the ultimate PWL champions this season?”
B: “For the AWL I really think there are a handful of great teams. I think Lionheart obviously should be the favorite after playing in the PWL, and Cheeks has the talent to win it all. Discrepancy is a very solid team who a lot of people thought should’ve been in the PWL, as well as One Trick and Calamity. If I had to pick 2 I’d take Lionheart and Discrepancy. I’ve picked against Lionheart before and they always seem to prove me wrong, and Discrepancy has been waiting for this bracket for a month now. I don’t think they will disappoint.
As for the PWL Playoffs – man, this one is really REALLY hard. I can’t emphasize enough how close the competition is this season, and I think there are some really talented teams. Ultimately if you had to pick a team Supremacy would have to be the favorites, undefeated in the regular season and basically an all-star lineup, this team is playing at a really high level. I know Ryan, Ghost and the rest of the team probably hate losing more than they like winning, and that is a huge factor in why they are so good. Team most likely to beat them though I’d say is Invigorate, when their full roster is there, man are they scary. Aaronz is arguably the best player in the game and picking up Sauce and Scorchy late in the season, adding them to an already stacked line-up, they are a really fun team to watch. And then I do believe that my team eGirl Slayerz and Resilience have the talent to get hot and pull off an upset. We saw eGirl take Invigorate to overtime on both maps in their series, and also go up 1-0 over Supremacy and be tied 2-2 on Nepal on map 2. So if they can learn to close out better they have a chance. Resilience will run the oddest comps, the craziest things, and with their chemistry they can be scary. Also note that I like Armory as a sleeper team thanks to their new roster additions.
Sorry I wrote a book, I can talk about the teams for hours!”
G: “Totally cool, this is interesting stuff and I think it just goes to show how interesting these playoffs are going to be! My last question is something I forgot to ask earlier when I asked about growth. Do you have any plans to work with teams on the Xbox One in order to foster both competitive scenes?”
B: “So this is a tricky one, upon leaving The Overguard and creating the PWL we wanted to focus heavily on PS4. This had a few of the friends I had made on Xbox a little upset as if I was leaving them and I explained that in due time, if they didn’t have somewhere else to play, I’d make sure to help them. Well, there are some tournaments going on for them now, and we figured best thing we could do is let them play that out and go from there. I have a lot of friends over there still that tell me how much they miss a league, and wish they could be playing in the one we have, some have even made their way into our discord (shoutout to Rush). So, I guess my very around the bush answer is, maybe, potentially, possibly, who knows. It really depends, if they don’t have something consistent that they are into, we might!”
G: “Well, good to hear Xbox players aren’t completely out of hope! Thanks so much for your time man, I think people will really enjoy reading this. Anything you want to plug?”
B: “I guess basically if you are a player, or just someone interested in the scene, follow the Twitter @PWLeagueOW and join our Discord; there is a link in our bio. We have many active staff, players and community members here who love interacting. Shoutout again to the staff names mentioned earlier they are the real MVP’s here. Shoutout to The Council members for helping with the transition and shoutout to everyone in the community, you have all been so supportive. And thanks for the opportunity Gold, and for being one of our best casters!”
If you’re interested in watching this thrilling conclusion to an exciting first season out of the Premier World League, be sure to check it out live on their Twitch channel, or on their YouTube channel if you can’t watch live. Full disclosure, I myself will be a part of the crew of shoutcasters and analysts, so be sure to say hi and let me know where you came from!