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The Overwatch League Revolutionizing eSports

The Overwatch League Revolutionizing eSports

The first Overwatch League championships are over and London Spitfire took home the trophy and the $1 million prize. Gigamax Games was lucky enough to be in attendance for both days of this incredible eSports event. Overwatch by itself has not only revolutionized the “Games as a Service” business model but Blizzard Entertainment and the Overwatch League completely transformed eSports in a massive way.

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London Spitfire – Overwatch League Champions

eSports isn’t a new concept. The company, Major League Gaming (MLG) was founded in 2002 but was recently purchased by Activision Blizzard in 2016. Gamers have always had a competitive streak in them since High Scores first made an appearance in arcade games. However, the world has had an extremely difficult time taking competitive gaming seriously.

eSports Credibility Rises 

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London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion Take The Stage

The Overwatch League just broke the mold and helped completely transform the way the public views competitive gaming. With the minimum league salary set at $50,000, selling out the Barclays Center in New York City two nights in a row, and broadcasting live on ESPN, Disney and ABC family networks gave the concept of eSports an incredible amount of credibility. Furthermore, it shows that these competitions can resemble a professional organization and sporting league. What’s even more astonishing is that all of this notoriety is surrounding a single game, Overwatch. 

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This is not to say that other organizations haven’t hosted impressive, international eSports tournaments. In 2013, MLG hosted the Winter Championships and offered up a hundred and seventy thousand dollars in prizes. More recently, Epic Games unveiled the Summer Skirmish series. This 8-week series is offering gamers a chance to compete for a total of $8,000,000 in prize money. Yet, the Overwatch League is unmatched in creating an eSports environment that rivals conventional sporting events.

A Year of Hype

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Jeffrey Kaplan, VP of Blizzard Entertainment and Game director of Overwatch

Kicking off in January of 2018, The Overwatch League closely resembled other professional sporting leagues. The MLB, NBA, NFL all develop throughout an entire year. They gradually build the hype until the end of a season when the two best teams meet in an epic showdown. This is exactly what The Overwatch League achieved, and was incredibly successful in doing so. For nearly seven months, fans tuned in to watch the matches and developed their favorite teams and players until The Overwatch League finals came along and the true winner was crowned.

The Video Game Community Is Spectacular 

When the Gigamax Games crew pulled up to the Barclays Center, it at first felt like attending any other concert or sporting event. A massive amount of people all working their way into a gigantic building to watch talented people perform for the crowds’ entertainment. What stood out was the people. Instead of rowdy sports fans or enthusiastic concertgoers, this group felt familiar.

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The Overwatch League Community

All these gamers ended up grouping up together as if guided by an invisible force. The gaming community can be incredibly friendly when the toxicity of anonymity is removed from the equation. Everyone felt like a family. No matter if they were rooting for the London Spitfires or Philadelphia Fusion, the entire crowd was rooting for the sport to succeed. The Overwatch League was the event that brought not only like-minded gamers together but forced the public to take note of this massive eSports movement that’s taking place.

As fans get ready for a Season 2 of The Overwatch League, more teams are expected to enter the competition. The massive success of its inaugural season and other countries and U.S. states interest in starting their own teams is not only a great sign for The Overwatch League but for eSports as a whole. There’s no telling what the future will hold.

Be sure to stay up to date with the entire video game industry, eSports included right here on Gigamax Games.com.

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Cosplay at Overwatch League Finals Barclays Center NY

The last battles of the Overwatch League Finals have been fought. Its outcome sparked both cheers and tears, filling the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. London Spitfire’s took home the trophy for the first, in what will hopefully be a long history of championship rounds.

Cosplay at Overwatch League Finals Barclays Center NY

While there was plenty of hype surrounding the competitive superstars and their superb skills, the other side of Overwatch’s fandom made a strong appearance at the finals. The spectacular cosplay highlighted the awe and dedication that has made the series so famous. These cosplayers spend countless hours putting together costumes to show their love for the colorful cast of characters the game has to offer.

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Image Source: https://bit.ly/2Ajlweq

Cosplay Spotted at Overwatch League Finals

Gigamax Games was lucky enough to attend the final matches of the Overwatch League. Besides the impressive scale of this massive video game tournament, the cosplay stood out.

The arena was packed full of dedicated fans and you didn’t have to go far to find someone dressed up in a very accurate representation of their favorite hero. One of the many amazing Cosplays we saw was a Widowmaker donning an outfit that replicated the character’s Black Lily skin. It is immediately evident that a ton of commitment was put in to accurately portray the purple villain. With body paint, an elegant dress, high heels, and even the signature sniper/automatic rifle this Cosplay was a perfect example of one fans love for Overwatch.

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One Shot, One Kill

Other Cosplayers made full suits of armor for their costumes, dedicating time and effort to make sure every piece matched up to its virtual counterpart. Another fantastic cosplay we saw roaming the halls of the Overwatch League Finals was a Brigitte dressed in the colors of the New York Excelsior’s. Of course, cosplaying comes with its fair share of struggles, mainly being surrounded by people who want a picture with the character and to learn about the hard work that went into making the costume. But this only goes to show how integral Cosplayers are to the Overwatch League experience and getting fellow fans excited for the festivities.

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Rally To Me!

An insanely detailed portrayal of Junkrat made an appearance. This would make any fan stop and double take to make sure the fictional Australian criminal wasn’t there. Blizzard certainly showed these fans love on the final day of the event, pulling some of the best Cosplayers there during one of the intermissions between matches.

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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

What’s Next?

With the Overwatch League Finals come and gone, we already can’t wait to see what Blizzard has planned for next year’s grand event. More importantly, we are hyped to see what Cosplayers put together for their costumes, hopefully, we’ll finally see an Orisa!

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Will OWL Competitors Hurt Its Future?

Will OWL Competitors Hurt Its Future?

The Overwatch League (OWL) has brought in millions of viewers from all over the world. Its first week drew over 13 million viewers, outpacing the latest NA LCS season in League of Legends. Blizzards OWL might be finding views are dropping during the second week but reports are coming in that viewership is stabilizing. However, will this last with the recent bad press OWL is experiencing?

Conduct of the competitors and viewers continue to be a topic of discussion. Racist and homophobic remarks and memes are popping up in the stream chat as well as the actions of some competitors are calling the professionalism of the competition into question.

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This Is Just The Beginning 

Blizzard set out to create an eSports league unlike any other. Salaried competitors, one of the most popular games in the world, and holding individuals accountable just like professional football or baseball players. However, not being aired on national television opens up some questions about what type of conduct will be tolerated.

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Players are already feeling the impact of the OWL’s Code of Conduct. Friday, January 19th, Dallas Fuel player Felix “xQc” Lengyel was suspended for four matches and fined $2,000 for violating the Code of Conduct during his individual stream. The official Overwatch League website stated that the league “takes standards of player behavior seriously whether during league play or otherwise, and is committed to responding swiftly when violations occur.

Where Is The Code of Conduct?

Even though the officials of the OWL say they take the Code of Conduct seriously, there is still no way for the general public to see what they actually are. Overwatch league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer has still not made these rules public. “We just haven’t gotten around to it,” Nanzer told the Telegraphic. “I don’t know the exact timeline, but it’s something that we’re working on, and I think we’ll have it published within the next few months.” http://bit.ly/2nbMDOI

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Having a solidified Code of Conduct available to the public will be an important step toward further legitimizing the Overwatch League. They need to be clear, set in stone, and competitors must be held to the standards. Blizzard is allowed to set their own rules and conditions, but it will be important for the public to be able to understand what will be allowed in the professional eSports league so it doesn’t feel as though Blizzard is making things up as they go along.

Things Start Slow

Just as in professional Baseball and Football, standards and the code of conduct continue to evolve. Now, football players aren’t allowed to spike the ball in the end zone or celebrate with a dance. Rules and regulations of the NFL have changed over time and the Overwatch League is still brand new. It will be quite some time before the Code of Conduct will mature to a point where viewers and gamers can both surmise what’s acceptable behavior. Furthermore, the fact that these events aren’t on national television and instead streamed through services like Twitch could impact the decision making when creating the rules.

It will be important for the future of the league to address these issues. Blizzard is building the foundation for an impressive eSports league. However, if these issues continue to persist, the future of the OWL could be in jeopardy. There’s no telling if these streaming services will pull the plug if these kinds of violations continue to escalate.

Be sure to check back on Gigamax Games as the Overwatch League progresses. This is only the second week and there is sure to be more news coming out of this impressive tournament.

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Sources:

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/news/21363702/xqc-suspended-and-fined

https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/25/16933532/overwatch-league-profit-middle-finger-xqc-rules-code-of-conduct

https://compete.kotaku.com/overwatch-league-commissioner-just-hasnt-gotten-around-1822393347

https://compete.kotaku.com/racist-jokes-keep-showing-up-in-overwatch-league-broadc-1822376195

Overwatch League Is Here: Update and Details

Overwatch League Is Here: Update and Details

This is a two-part article on Blizzards groundbreaking Overwatch League. Find the overview of Blizzards official eSports league directly below and the patch notes are located at the bottom half of the article. 

Overwatch League Is Officially Here

A year in the making, the premiere eSports circuit for the Earth-shatteringly popular first-person shooter, Overwatch has begun. The Overwatch League is an incredible step forward for the eSports community. Blizzard poured an impressive amount of resources into this initiative in order to make it happen. Featuring over 100 players, the league is made up of gamers from all around the world. Boston, Dallas, Florida, Houston, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and two locations in Los Angeles will all be hosting this immense competition.

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Stage 1, week 1 begins today, January 10th. Six teams will kick off this monumental eSports competition. The event will consist of six teams competing each day from Wednesday through Saturday until the first stage concludes on February 10th. This is an arduous competition but this challenge pays off in a big way. At the end of each stage, a $125,000 prize is waiting for the winning team. The Overwatch League champions will take home a whopping $1,000,000.

To keep up with all the action, fans can follow their favorite teams and watch all the matches on overwatchleague.com

Overwatch League Update for PC, PS4, Xbox One

With the Overwatch League making its debut, Blizzard released their Overwatch update on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Fans of the Overwatch League are going to be happy to hear that new skins based on their favorite leagues’ teams will be available. The patch includes a bunch of additional changes and bug fixes that some Zenyatta and Ana players might enjoy as well.

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Before jumping into all the changes included in the patch, Overwatch fans are in for quite a surprise. The new skins will not be available through loot boxes which has always been the norm. Instead, the new league skins can only be purchased with League Tokens.

Ranging from $5 for 100 Tokens to $100 for 2,600 Tokens, it will be quite pricey to buy the lot. Each skin will cost 100 Tokens. All the skins will cost $1,200 so it might be worth picking out your favorite teams and sticking with them. The good news is that players will automatically get 100 Tokens just for logging on while the first stage is active (Jan 10th – Feb 13th).

Character Changes

There are a few big changes coming to some characters as well and the main menu is getting an update, too. Target’s health bars will be visible to Zenyatta when Orbs of Discord and Harmony are used. Gamers will notice a new Overwatch League area in the main menu where league matches can be streamed. Console players will see some exciting changes as well. The communication wheel selections can be bound to a button and players will now be able to change the crouch mechanic to a press and hold command. Finally, Ana will have an additional setting for Friendly Aim Assist Strength to help players personalize the level of assistance when aiming at teammates.

A bunch of bug fixes is coming to the Overwatch League update, take a look at the official patch notes for additional information.

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Sources:

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-overwatch-league/1100-6455961/

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/schedule

 

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