Overwatch and eSports

The launch of Blizzard’s anticipated title, Overwatch, is a week away. Players who pre-purchased the game already have access to the final phase of closed beta, with an open beta to follow this week. Blizzard’s entry in the FPS world has been a lengthy process, with Overwatch being the culmination of many discussions over the years.

Last weekend at PAX East, Blizzard and Overwatch made a big splash, from community competitions, live streams and cosplay including cars.

The community tournament gave us our first taste of what’s to come for competitive Overwatch, and although nothing has been announced yet, Nate Nanzer, Global Director for Overwatch eSports, held back his excite in a short interview with TGN.

Nate Nanzer has extensive experience in quantitive research, and has in the past worked for other developers and publishers such as EA, 2K, Microsoft, and more. He’s right in saying that him being part of the team is proof that Blizard are taking Overwatch’s eSports potential seriously, but what does the future hold?

It’s no Team Fortress 2

Overwatch is unlike any team shooter. Many drew comparisons to Team Fortress 2 upon beta release, but it’s really so much more. It has a slightly more casual edge, yet staying competitive even at the slowest of times. There’re very few issues with its competitive capability, but if other Blizzard eSports titles are anything to go by, I wouldn’t be getting too excited, yet.

Take a look at Heroes of The Storm. Upon release it was a hit. Tournament are still frequent, but the game lacks crucial updates and balance fixes, and has really become a shell of a potentially great MOBA. Blizzard are great at creating different games, giving them their own flavour, but what they’re bad at is maintaining some sort of competitive edge, and this seems to be a more recent issue.

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