Overwatch League, the Glimpse of the Future. Part 1

One of the biggest gaming convention was held in Anaheim Convention Center from Nov 3rd to 4th- Blizzcon last year. Blizzcon is literal Blizzard Convention where their loyal players and fans around the world gather to celebrate and experience the showcase of Blizzard games during the convention. During Blizzcon Blizzard announced specific details of Overwatch League. On february 10th, first season of Overwatch League crowned its season champion London, defeating New York 3- 2 in a slugfest.

 

What is Overwatch.

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter game where total 12 players, with 2 teams of 6 players each, would fight against certain objectives. The game was both developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in May 2016 for Windows, Playstation, and Xbox.

The Overwatch League (OWL) is a professional esports league for the video game, Overwatch. Blizzard annouced their plans for the league during Blizzcon 2016. Unlike other esports games, the organization of permanent teams in league placement is much like traditional physical sports in the U.S. (League of Legends followed this format in late 2017 with the announcement.) There are two divisions divided by oceans.

Pacific

Dallas Fuel

Los Angeles Gladiators

Los Angeles Valiant

San Francisco Shock

Seoul Dynasty

Shanghai Dragons

Atlantic

Boston Uprising

Houston Outlaws

London Spitfire

Flordia Mayhem

New York Excelsior

Philadelphia Fusion

 

The Birth of Esports

The esports is considered to be ‘a league of their own’, mainly because people who watch esports are the gamers themselves. Esports scene for the past 20 years has grown out of South Korea to the global level yet current esports scene is difficult for the non-gamers to watch and follow the game. With growing number of competitor games arising, esports can never succeed through such small amount of viewer pool.

Blizzard watched and studied the growth of esports scene. Luck played her part, because Starcraft 1, the mother game of esports, was developed and published by Blizzard. After successfully settling down in South Korea in 2001, it had grown to produce Ongamenet (Now OGN) and in 2004, MBC Game (Now MBC music). With the strong support from the public and even army (selected Korean male progamers could fulfill their mandatory military services in Air Force Ace by playing games) The strong public appreciation and support for the gaming scene knowing that Korean public especially males are strict on mandatory military services.

 

Disclosure: I/we have positions in ATVI, not an investment advice.

 

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