16 Feb, 2016

How Overwatch Can Be The Next Big Thing in eSports?

Blizzard hopes to give eSports another title with the release of Overwatch. Although games like, Hearthstone, StarCraft 2 dominate the scene in their respective genre the only thing left untouched for Blizzard was the world of FPS shooting.

Ever since there were speculations for Blizzard’s FPS, fans and the general gaming community were not pretty satisfied with the move. According to response, many thought Blizzard won’t be able to make a mark into the world of FPS since apparently they don’t have the experience to compete with the legacy of games such as Call of Duty or the most dominant Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

However, after the launch of Overwatch Alpha it seems like Blizzard has taken on even a more difficult task to complete. That is the combination of something between FPS and MOBA; something they haven’t given a name yet but is because there is a lot more to Overwatch than just being FPS.

Blizzard’s Overwatch entered closed beta in October last year and came back this year with a bang. Last year was quite tough for the game after having mixed reviews from the community. However; this year Overwatch came with a great deal of changes and additions, things that are a must in competitive eSports.

Though Blizzard has all the resources in the world to make it the next big thing in eSports, will it be able to sustain a place in the long run? That is a question even Blizzard can’t answer.

Here we will look at some of the important things that established eSport games have so that you can better compare if Overwatch will be able to make its mark in the competition.

Skill comes from experience
Looking at Counter Strike: Global Offensive, we can see even a six year old can play the game. But the skills to compete at the top level requires years of experience. Some professional players have more than 10s of years of knowledge playing CS:GO but still their learning aspect doesn’t seem to stop. That’s how deep things have to be to make the game a legend in the competitive scene. But for the new guy on the block you just need five fingers out of the ten to play the game (literally).

This is what makes the most part of being a competitive eSports. Considering games like League of Legends and Dota 2, though are tough as hell, players still linger onto the games like a leech. That is because the game has so much to offer in terms of game play but at the same time it’s free. So players just have to invest their time and forget about the money resulting in hours and hours of game time that encourages more and more organizations to invest in the competitive aspect of the game. Even though, Counter Strike: Global Offensive comes with onetime payment, when comparing its price to Overwatch’s $59.99, the game can almost be considered free.

Have a look at the top watched games on Twitch last month and you will have the idea.Overwatch is good to the eye but what happens when you actually see someone playing it? Compare it to a live pro match of Counter Strike: Global Offensive; even if you know zilch about the game you will be intrigued with the game dynamics and the simple shooter base fun. For the eyes of a true fan, the same match is tons of knowledge ready to be absorbed just by seeing a pro player move, act and react. The difference in the type of viewership maybe huge, but the element of obsession is there for both. Having a good viewership is nowadays considered a cornerstone in the competitive industry and Blizzard has living examples for both scenarios. Just take a look at the viewership of Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

Ending Words
Overwatch is still in Beta phase expecting an official release till Q2 2016. There is a lot of room for the game to grow and a lot of things to be taken care off if Blizzard truly wants the game to compete or be on par with the likes of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2. And although the mentioned aspects are something Blizzard would already have their minds set to, their proper execution remains key for the Overwatch’s success.



Gamer, Geek, Blogger. I come from the time when Duke Nukem looked awesome. I have a day job at Kill Ping and my nights pass with endless online gaming.

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