eSports Betting OddsOverwatch is the newest eSport, and Blizzard has been doing a lot to ensure its success. The game came out in May 2016, and it was received extremely well upon its release. Rather than go dark and gritty like most first-person shooters, Blizzard made Overwatch different in order to bring new people into the gaming world. The game is known for its brilliant colors, vibrant atmosphere, and diverse cast of characters. That is set it apart from so many others in the genre.
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Overwatch - The Game
Unlike other FPS games that feature two teams of four or five players, Overwatch has two teams of six players square off in order to achieve a goal. Due to the relatively narrow pool of heroes, two teams can both use the same hero, creating an interesting 1v1 dynamic you don’t see in other games.
There are three classes of heroes that players can use. DPS heroes are the game’s main damage dealers and they are the ones that rack up the big stat lines. Tanks have higher amounts of health and are constantly on the front line either leading the charge or rallying the defense. Supports largely stay in the back and provide healing and buffs to their teammates in order to help them with the objective.
Players are free to switch from one hero to another after they die, which leads to some interesting strategy. Teams generally can’t see the opposition’s composition prior to the first skirmish, so there is a lot of gamesmanship and countering that goes on in order to thwart the other’s plans. However, there is a bit of a cost for switching heroes. Throughout the game, players build up their ultimate, and you can use it once it reaches 100 percent. However, if a player changes characters, the ultimate resets back to zero, leaving you to build it back up once more.
While most of the other major eSports have only one mode that is played competitively, there are multiple modes that are played in an Overwatch match. A match will feature Assault, Control (twice), Escort, and Hybrid game types in order to determine which team is the best on that day. That means teams have to be versatile, leading to different ideas and strategies for different teams.
Overwatch - The eSport
In 2016 and 2017, the most important professional Overwatch league was Overwatch APEX. Overwatch APEX was run out of South Korea by OGN, and many of the players that are considered to be the best in the world got their start there. There were four seasons played in little over a year, with Lunatic-Hai establishing themselves as the best team in the world by winning two of the four titles. Almost all of the best players from this league moved over to the Overwatch League when Blizzard announced it was launching the league in 2017.
The Overwatch League debuted in January 2018, and it has consistently been one of the most watched events on Twitch. The inaugural season was split into four stages that lasted five weeks each with stage playoffs at the end. Each team played a total of 40 matches over the course of the season (10 per stage), and the top six teams at the end of the season ended up making the Overwatch League Playoffs.
Financially, the league has been a massive success. Blizzard changed the game with the Overwatch League, requiring owners to pay $20 million for the rights to a franchise. Although there was plenty of chortling about the fee, 12 teams bought in or the first season and many have come close to recouping their investments. Blizzard signed extremely lucrative rights and endorsement deals with a number of sponsors, and that has led to rumors of a $50 million franchise fee for the next expansion round.
Although it is not a professional league, the Overwatch World Cup is another exciting event to watch. Like soccer’s World Cup, the Overwatch League will bring together national teams in a worldwide tournament that hundreds of thousands will tune in to watch. South Korea are the massive favorites after winning the first two Overwatch World Cups, but other contenders have emerged that could supplant them.
Overwatch League Teams
- Atlantic Division
- Boston Uprising
- Florida Mayhem
- Houston Outlaws
- London Spitfire
- New York Excelsior
- Philadelphia Fusion
- Pacific Division
- Dallas Fuel
- Los Angeles Gladiators
- Los Angeles Valiant
- San Francisco Shock
- Seoul Dynasty
- Shanghai Dragons
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