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Overwatch Open Beta and Competitive Scene

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Mentioned in a previous article, we discussed the potential of Overwatch becoming one of the bigger esports games. At the moment, it looks like this could be an eventuality. The open beta was released on May 5th and has players becoming immersed into the game. The game currently features 21 heroes with 4 types of game modes. There are also 4 classes of heroes that each team needs to find a balance of within each map to optimize their chances of winning. For example, every team needs at least one tank hero to soak up damage and be the front line that the higher damage, low health heroes can hide behind while dealing damage. Similar to League of Legends, every role is important, even the ones who do not participate too actively in actually killing enemies.

Before the game’s open beta was even released, a fledging competitive scene had already started to grow with big esports names such as Cloud 9, Team Liquid, Luminosity Gaming, and many more organizations picking up competitive teams. As of the results now, it looks like Cloud 9 are the top team, defeating all of their North American competition with seemingly little effort. The Europeans have EnVyUs or REUNITED to boast as their best teams. However, the game is still in its early days and when the big tournaments begin, the best teams will be decided there.

Interestingly enough, the game draws professionals from many other titles. For example, the second-best team in North America, Luminosity Gaming, has one of their players, Seagull, coming from Team Fortress II. Another North American player, AZK, is currently playing for Team Liquid and comes from the world of CS:GO.

So what is it about this game that attracts so many fans from other games and also new gamers? For one, a new player can easily start up the game without knowing too much beforehand. Heroes like, Soldier 76, has a Call Of Duty, run and gun, style to his gameplay and players coming from those types of games could use Soldier 76. Other characters have a higher skill ceiling, but could be picked up by anyone and played still. The 21 unique heroes allows for different play-styles and a different experience each game. The unique aspect about this game is that it’s a first-person shooter, but it requires similar teamwork to games such as DotA2 and League of Legends. Teams need to work together or else they won’t win, and that’s what makes it fun. No longer is the game simply about running around finding scalps to claim, but of pushing together as a team and focusing on objectives.

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