IBM Watson Will Calculate Rankings for the Overwatch League Through Power Rankings

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Where would sports be without statistics? For some people, evaluating team and player performances based on raw numbers can be even more exciting than the sport itself.

Things are not much different in the world of esports. The Overwatch League has always needed to evaluate its participants through various ranking systems. The league now decided to up its game by introducing IBM Watson, a question-answering AI whose goal is to develop objective power rankings for the OWL-based on all available data.

AI Is Slowly Creeping Into the Gaming World

Almost every industry can find a use for AI. Still, considering that some of the first AIs were developed for a chess game, the transition of artificial intelligence to the gaming world was destined to be a smooth one.

Entertainment companies that provide some form AI experience, such as the ability to virtually driving on the Formula One race track or spinning the reels at a jackpot casino Canada are becoming well aware of the potential of AI and its presence in the iGaming industry. Hence, why so many businesses are heavily investing the opportunities to intertwine entertainment with AI elements in the future.

Blizzard, IBM use AI to find the best Overwatch players | HT Tech

IBM Watson’s power rankings are only the tip of the iceberg regarding the possibilities of AI in gaming. After all, AI only operates outside of the game by performing statistical measures rather than changing how the game is played.

Since its very beginning, the gaming industry has aimed towards giving players a more realistic experience of the virtual world. However, visuals and sound effects can only do so much in creating that realism. The AI can give non-player characters more life and a chance to evolve over time, giving each player a unique interaction with the game.

Moreover, many gaming studios are becoming interested in AI to serve the in-game experience and for building or helping build the game itself. This means that AIs could take an artistic role in the not-so-distant future and create entire games from scratch.

Both Gamers and Fans Should Benefit From Watson

Up until now, the OWL power rankings were determined by various analysts and game experts. Even though it can be said they were accurate to an extent, the rankings were still subjective and left to interpretation, causing a lot of unnecessary arguing among fans.

A single person or a group of people isn’t enough to give an objective overview of teams and players. Every Overwatch match has almost two million data points that need to be processed to come up with a truly accurate answer.

IBM Watson is there to settle all debates by creating objective evaluations and concluding which players are the best. The AI will give every player and team an overall score based on their performances using a large volume of data from games played.

Putting this work into the hands of the AI will give both the players and the fans reassurance that the rankings genuinely represent the value of each participant.

IBM Watson made its debut at the beginning of the 2021 OWL season. The list changes every week and includes overall rankings for every player and team, including individual rankings for every player role (support, damage, and tank).

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