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Overwatch: A worthy eSport?

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Aug
03

This FPS has a competitive mountain to climb.

Turner Broadcasting have recently announced an Overwatch Open. Turner’s ELeague will now include Overwatch in its television broadcast. For the first-person shooter this will be a true test, how engaging will this be for the spectators and analysts of the game? After a successful first season of ELeague, broadcasting Valve’s CounterStrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). There are a lot of changes Blizzard would have to make in order to consistently gain a respectable amount of viewers.

Presentation

“It’s too casual!”

A statement Overwatch fans have heard on too many occasions. For eSports fans it became quickly apparent that there were downsides to watching competitive play. Blizzard made changes such as limiting each team to one unique hero each to prevent duplicates. Good move. However advocacy for competitive Overwatch is whittling as most games are complete chaos that lack depth. A rival game CS:GO requires one less player (five) on each team with a slower pace, allowing for new viewers to follow and become easily engaged.

Whereas the camera in Overwatch cannot keep up with the demands of the viewers, who want to identify an individual players performance. The spectator mode features no demos, no different angles to view the game from and no replays. No addition of a mini-map hinders the experience too. A player’s position on the map can be used to predict an area of focus for the camera before it’s too late. Currently the focus is during the action, making it difficult to see who initiates the attacks etc.

Information

“Give us the numbers!”

Statistics are imperative to anything classified as a sport or eSport. Having barely any data to analyse at the end of a competitive game is simply detrimental to it.
Fans and people within the eSports industry need to know the following information at the very least:

  • Damage done
  • Healing done
  • Damage blocked
  • KDR (Kill to death ratio)
  • Objective time

Averages and information make for easier decisions to be made. Such as choosing a player to purchase, making predictions, writing a feature article or determining who the best player is.

Due to this Overwatch will have a very tough time portraying itself as an eSport via television and online. Although it’ll be good for the exposure of the game, the total pandemonium in the end will hold it back. Adjustments need to be made by Blizzard and fast.

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