Success of Overwatch League: Week 1 Retrospective
The Overwatch League has become a widespread phenomenon in the esports scene. If you haven’t heard of (or participated in) this spectacle yet, you’re definitely missing out.
The newly-worked viewing experience present in the Overwatch League is worthy of standing with the titans of eSports. The league features area-specific sports teams, real-world tycoons of the sports team markets, and even numbered jerseys for the competitive players. Blizzard Entertainment is truly bridging the gap of sports and esports. And the dedicated channel, located on Twitch, is already hitting a staggering number of viewers at well over 300,000.
It’s no secret that Blizzard has been a main contender in the ever-growing esports scene; however, the Overwatch League is redefining the scene as a whole–for the better. Managers, trainers and player drafting is all meshing with that of the sports scene. The last incredible step Blizzard Entertainment made toward this mesh was broadcasting the first “Heroes of the Dorm” tournament on ESPN. This event was a collegiate league, with the winnings being a full scholarship, and pitted many college teams against each other in Blizzard Entertainment’s MOBA, Heroes of the Storm.
One reason the Overwatch League is succeeding so well is the simple take on the competitive teams. Blizzard has applied colored jerseys (both in and out of game) to separate regions. The current roster of the league stands at 16 teams that are either a collection of great players, or pre-existing teams already in the Overwatch scene.
There are many great teams in the league, with many having very interesting color palettes. Seoul Dynasty, the top dog and the competitive team of Lunatic-Hai, sports the ever-popular black with gold-rimmed skins. Dallas Fuel currently has the most popular following simply because of the presence of famous streamers, such as Seagull and xQc. Los Angeles Valiant blew many away with its first few incredible games. New York Excelsior, which contains the monster player: Pine, sports one of the best names in a game about heroes. The team name “excelsior” just gets me giddy.
Owners of the New York Mets (Jeff Wilpon) and the New England Patriots (Robert Kraft) entered the league owning New York Excelsior and Boston Uprising respectively. To us gamers, this is a mind-boggling spectacle that puts our hearts in awe that major franchise owners would actually support the esports scene.
“The incredible global success of ‘Overwatch’ since its launch, coupled with the league’s meticulous focus on a structure and strategy that clearly represents the future of esports made this the obvious entry point for the Kraft Group,” Robert Kraft exclaimed in a statement.
Even if you’re not a fan of Overwatch, or plain uninterested in the esports perspective, you can’t argue that huge gears have begun to rotate because of Blizzard Entertainment’s embrace of the future of esports.
Esports is an incredible spectacle for any fan of gaming, especially if that particular game fancies your particular game pool. As said before in the previous Blizzcon Retrospective article, the slick viewing experience presented in Overwatch League makes it elementary for the casual viewer and engaging for the most hardcore supporters. I urge anyone that regularly plays Overwatch to participate in the viewing experience currently going on, and furthermore urge one to send an outsider of the Overwatch community to tune in.
Creating a more accessible space for watching the top players of Overwatch, many regulars will see skills to strive for. Breathing a new life into the game through inspiring viewers to become better, the Overwatch League creates an overall positive environment in the gaming community.
Many thought that the Overwatch League was going to be an interesting twist on the typical formula of esports, though I doubt many could see the approaching phenomenon of the competition. Blizzard Entertainment has once again taken the main stage in the esports scene, guaranteeing future success for the company. Viewers can root for their favorite team, whether it be their home team, or for aesthetical reasons. It’s truly exciting to see how the Overwatch League will further develop. What other cards does Blizzard Entertainment hold up their sleeves.