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Published: April 3, 2022

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The League opens a fanart contest to celebrate its fifth year
  • The winners will receive $500 and have their art used by Blizzard without any other compensation
  • Fans speak out against the unfair rules of the contest

Fans are not happy about the rules of the Overwatch League’s fanart contest and are expressing their dissatisfaction on social media.

Fans Blast the Fanart Contest’s Rules

One of the best ways for a community to get together is for artists to make fanart of characters and heroes. This is a way for interaction between the creators of a certain franchise and the fanbase. Knowing this, the Overwatch League has made a fanart contest for its fifth season.

“Submit your digital artwork celebrating the 5th season of the Overwatch League for a chance for a chance to win $500!” writes the League in its official statement. “We want to see what makes you most excited for the upcoming 2022 Season! A panel of Overwatch League experts will select 5 winners to each win the grand prize!”

However, it is exactly these rules and prizes that fans are concerned about. Many have pointed out that the prize is way too small and the competition’s conditions mean that Blizzard can use any of the art submitted without permission and without sharing any related revenue with the artist.

Potential winners of the contest will have their artwork displayed on select items that will be made available in the Overwatch League shop. However, it is not known what kind of items will be sold with the art but apart from the $500 prize, the artist will not receive any royalties.

According to Blizzard’s official rules, the company may “edit, adapt, translate, modify, publish, reproduce, exploit and use the Submission in any way on the Website” etc. Blizzard can keep these rights for two years from the date the art is submitted. Anyone, who submits a piece of art, is subject to these rules, regardless if they win or not. Additionally, submitters are also bound to arbitration once they submit work. This is a common strategy used in many contracts barring complainants from going straight to court.

Blizzard Responds to the Criticism

With the Overwatch League receiving so much flack, they naturally had to come out with a response. Thanking the OWL community for voicing their concerns about the art contest, the League stated they will not be using any of the submitted art on any items for purchase.

“In response to these concerns, we will not be using the submitted art on any items for purchase and will work to better champion artists in the future,” the statement reads. “The contest will continue with the five winning submissions, each receiving the cash prize, and we look forward to celebrating these artists with the community.”

Although the Overwatch League apologized, it still left a bad aftertaste that adds up to Blizzard’s other recent blunders concerning Overwatch.

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