This is the last year that the Overwatch League will have special in-game MVP skins.
When Blizzard announced the most recent Overwatch League MVP skins, the blog had one line that caught the community's attention: "Don’t miss out, as this is the last time a skin will be made for the Overwatch League MVP."
Blizzard didn't specify why developers were not producing more Overwatch League MVP skins in the future. But it's possible that this decision was fueled by the recent allegations against former Overwatch League MVP Jay "sinatraa" Won. After his former girlfriend came forward with audio recordings of sexual assault at the hands of the former OWL superstar, Blizzard pulled sinatraa's MVP Zarya skin.
While awaiting the results of Sentinels' investigations into the abuse claims, Blizzard also decided to offer refunds for any Overwatch players who purchased the skin. Even though this decision was met with a mostly warm response and support from the gaming community, it might have been a frustrating and complicated ordeal for Blizzard to deal with.
Another possibility is that Overwatch League MVP skins just aren't worth the effort anymore. It's difficult to know how many people are purchasing these special, limited edition skins, but as viewership of the OWL declines, Blizzard may feel it's not worth paying an artist to spend time creating the MVP skins.
Esports Charts reported last year that the Overwatch League 2020 Grand Finals had a 61% decline in average viewership when compared to 2019. Due to COVID-19's negative side effects on Overwatch League's tournament schedule and Blizzard's decision to stream on YouTube, it's possible that this year's matches will see an even smaller viewing pool.
Blizzard has some ideas in mind to refresh the community aspect of the Overwatch League and that might be taking up the team's time and money. An MVP skin design might not fit into the budget, especially if it's not being purchased enough to make the efforts worthwhile.
Overwatch League reveals 2020 MVP skins
Blizzard announced the Overwatch League MVP and Championship skins yesterday, featuring a fiery Roadhog for San Francisco Shock's back-to-back championship wins and a good and evil Echo skin for MVP Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim.
Senior Concept Artist David Kang discussed the thoughts and planning behind these two beautiful skins. For San Francisco Shock, the team picked Roadhog because he was a meta-defining hero during SF Shock's dominance in 2020.
At first, the team of artists thought of making a "blinged out" hero skin with two belts and two trophies to represent Shock's back-to-back championship wins. Then they thought of a gold miner to pay homage to the San Francisco Gold Rush in the 1800s. In the end, they settled on a Midas theme, since "everything San Francisco Shock touched turned to gold."
For Fleta, the team chose a hero that represented the DPS player's versatility. Echo made sense since she can copy any hero's abilities with her ultimate.
"I wanted a half devil, half angel design," Fleta told artists. "That's because I'm calm outside the game but aggressive while playing."
To represent these two sides of Fleta, artists sketched Echo with a striking design that showcased both of these qualities. She has sun and moon symbolism, with an "angelic" white side and "evil" darker side. The angel side has feathery wings while the darker side has rougher edges.
These special Legendary skins are available now through April 6 for 200 League Tokens each.
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