If you were planning to see the epic conclusion to the first-ever Overwatch League tournament, you’d best hope you already have tickets. If you don’t, you’re out of luck.
The event is set to take place from July 27th to July 28th in Barclays Center of Brooklyn, New York.
Overwatch League Event Planner Nate Nazer said he knew the event was going to be large because of all the enthusiastic fans, but this is “something else”.
Barclays Center has the goal of becoming the location for more major Esports events, says Keith Sheldon, vice president of BSE global.“That vision is taking shape as a result of a great partnership with the talented team behind the Overwatch League.”
Through its entire first season, Overwatch League got off to a running start and never looked back. The days leading up to its launch were jam-packed with more than a fair bit of excitement, and that certainly shone through to the actual launch, with the opening week drawing in an excess of 10 million individuals. Viewership peaked at a jaw-dropping 437,000 on the first day, and fell off a bit on Saturday and Friday. Viewing numbers for the rest of the season weren’t quite as spectacular but were still a huge success, and if not for a $90 million deal that Blizzard struck with Twitch to make them the only ability to view the League live outside of China, it would almost certainly have appeared on live television.
But despite the league’s massive leaps and bounds for both itself and all Esports enthusiasts, many remain doubtful of its ability to grow past its current form. David Thier of Forbes writes about one of the possible issues with the league in an article suggesting that the problem with the Overwatch league is that it’s too focused on the game itself.
He lists a comparison between Overwatch and a Football team, where he attributes the success of a particular Football team and player to successes by the players, while the successes of teams in the Overwatch league are based more on their ability to find the best and most powerful components of the game’s latest patch and use those to their advantage. He says the game’s constant cycle of updates and developer love actually hurts the game’s competitive scene, as the patches and changes occur so frequently that there’s not enough time for players to distinguish themselves through their skill with a particular hero. Even if a player has a fantastic Mccree and has become notorious for their fantastic Mccree plays, many believe that the latest Hanzo rework has made Hanzo a better hero overall than Mccree. The snapshot Mccree player will be encouraged to make the swap over to Hanzo, and they will do so for the sake of their team. While they still might land the same number of incredible shots, some part of what made that player distinctive has been lost.
Due to the constantly changing meta, its impossible for a player to identify themselves with particular niche moves or hero tactics that no one else really does. Instead, the best identifier they can hope for is “Good DPS player” or “One of the best supports”.
This is an issue that also plagues many competitive fighting games. For example, when the final downloadable character for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, Bayonetta, was first released, she was considered the best character in the game by a very large margin, able to due far more damage than any other character while still having very fast movement and long reach on her attacks. This led to one of the most controversial Smash 4 tournament grand finales ever, where one player played Bayonetta and another did not. The non-Bayonetta player was believed to be the fans to be the better player, but ended up losing anyway due to the huge uphill battle he was facing. Fans of the game believe he only won the game because of the character he chose. He figured out a trick in the game’s mechanics without having to rely on skill.
But while this might be an issue in the long run of competitive Overwatch, it doesn’t seem to be bothering all the fans that have already reserved their seats for the league’s grand finals.