Bo Bozart breaks down the benefits of playing the inaugural season Overwatch League.
At Blizzcon last year, Blizzard announced the inaugural season of Overwatch League would officially begin in January of 2018, with preseason games taking place in December of 2017. Over the next few months, Blizzard has slowly revealed more and more information about OWL, including teams to build hype for the new season, new skins that will act as “jerseys” for easier viewing, as well as offering tickets to watch the teams play live. As someone who has played Overwatch since the console beta, the development of Overwatch League has been absolutely thrilling. That said, I realize there are some people who have never heard of eSports, let alone
Overwatch League or Overwatch itself. So let’s start with the simple question: “What are eSports?”
Wikipedia defines eSports as, “a form of competition that is facilitated by video games.” Makes sense. The game could be a 1 v 1 competition (like in Street Fighter, StarCraft, or HearthStone) or a team based game (like Overwatch, League of Legends, or Destiny). There are games set in the future, games set in World War II and games set in a tavern full of fantastical creatures. There is an eSport for everyone. Which leads to the next question: “Why is Overwatch so exciting?”
Overwatch was my favorite game last year for many reasons. Not only is the gameplay incredibly deep and addicting, but the presentation is bright and colorful, the characters are diverse and endearing, and above all else, the game encourages cooperation in a way that feels natural. Once you find some friends to play with, Overwatch not only tests your ability to make twitch decisions in the heat of a battle, but it also challenges you to be aware of your teammates and enemies. It’s easy to jump in and shoot things, but winning will require clear communication and tactics, as well as knowledge of your character’s entire arsenal. Not only is the gameplay pristine with constant polish via patches and character tweaks, the games is easy and enjoyable to watch.
Overwatch’s characters have a wide array of ethnicities, nationalities and even species. Players can choose a white American with an assault rifle, a teenage Korean eSports champion with her own flying Mech, or a talking gorilla scientist from the moon. The Pixar style animation appeals to fans of all ages and the distinct design of each character gives hints as to their abilities. The inclusion of spectator tools and AI “Cameramen” for games will make them easy to follow, on top of the shoutcasters giving clarification on who did what and what that means for the team.
Pre-Season starts on December 6th, and the schedule, teams and rosters are available at OverwatchLeague.com. For now, I am going to paint my room purple and black and burn anything yellow and green. Go Gladiators!
Segaro “Bo” Bozart, staff writer, is a third-year IMC major who is Team Gladiators. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.