It’s December 31st, the year is over, and I’m sitting here at the computer, slightly hungover, tore up from the floor up, trying to process it all. My latest self-assignment for Minority Report was a year-end article that summed up the year on a positive note, as someone pointed out to me that my last few pieces have been pretty tonally negative. Read more …
“Overwatch League is not an anime.”
Those words echoed across the OWL Twitterverse two days ago, a pebble thrown into a still offseason hiatus lake. It was another hot take from Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, a lead analyst and caster of the Overwatch League, a criticism of the emotionality and unreasonable hope some fans have towards their teams. It’s true: The Overwatch League isn’t an anime. But traditional sports have benefitted from the storylines, plot twists, and redemption arcs inadvertently built by their teams for centuries. Why shouldn’t we?
The off-season is drawing to a close. The season approaches. That light blue and orange on the horizon? That’s the London Spitfire leading the charge. Champions of the Inaugural season. There is no reason to think the Spitfire won’t come back with the same fire and adaptability that they possessed last year; and yet, do they have new contenders for the title?
Will the season start with the familiar names out on top: Valiant, NYXL, Fusion, even Seoul? Or will the second season see the rise of new names? The Vancouver RunAway…er I mean Canucks…er, sorry the colours, I mean Titans, perhaps. Could the blue and orange be replaced by a wave of green and…a different blue?
These are OverwatchScore’s “Way Too Early” power rankings (with some adjustment by me, RogueBludger).
It’s that time of year again: The off-season. For Overwatch League fans, it’s hard to wait until February to finally see our favorite team in action. We’ve kept track of the player signings and all the trades. We’ve been following the newly announced teams on Twitter. But it’s still hard to be patient.
So let’s use Christmas (and Hanukkah – although that’s already passed) as a way to help lift everyone’s spirits! Get your friends, significant other, family and co-workers pumped for Season 2 by giving them some sweet Overwatch-themed gifts this season.
In the last few months, six of the eight new expansion teams participating in Overwatch League’s second season have revealed their branding and team colors. Fans eagerly await branding reveals, whether to see how new teams fit in the League or to find out how ugly the jersey they’re buying for their favorite player will be. In any case, I found that many media outlets have posted brand updates, but haven’t really passed judgement on them. That’s what I’m here for.
As someone involved in Los Angeles Valiant event coverage since their initial team announcement, writer Austin Hanlin delves into what has changed from their first local event to their last, the California Cup.
The first significant difference I detected when I was heading to the Esports Arena for a second LA Valiant event was the energy. As I was driving by, I spotted the team walking inside and saw that they had already begun setting up on the street; I could tell I was in for a fun time. As I made my way to the door and inside, Valiant fans had already packed the entire arena full a good hour before my arrival. The energy at this point was quite lively as the University teams were playing on the stage, fans from the schools cheering them on as they played. I watched for a few minutes, observing the packed crowd before I made my way up to the VIP section on the overlook, which was also packed full. All of it was not so surprising once I learned that they had sold out of VIP tickets the first week they were available; they’d also sold out of all general admission tickets just the night before.
This year’s Overwatch World Cup featured teams from all across the world, stacked with talented players and coaches. Before Blizzcon, a math equation developed in the minds of many viewers: more Overwatch League players + World Cup = an easy win. But by the time Team USA, Team France, and Team Finland were unceremoniously knocked out of competition on Day 1, it became obvious that wasn’t true. If three of the most OWL-player-heavy teams couldn’t do it, who could?
The underdogs, that’s who. I’ve decided to highlight a few players who showed their mettle, helped their teams, and gave game-winning performances at the World Cup…and who aren’t in the Overwatch League.* Yet.
The Quarterfinals of yesterday’s World Cup matches were, to say the least, truly shocking. With two major upsets and three 3-0 finishes, it wasn’t the competition many people were expected. Today the fun continues with the Semifinals, Bronze Medal Match, and Gold Medal Match. We have you covered with continuing predictions that are hopefully more accurate than literally everyone’s predictions yesterday.
Home is where the heart is. But what does it take to stray from your homeland and put your faith elsewhere? With Blizzcon approaching, I interviewed fans from across the globe who have broken with the idea that home means instant support: fans who are primarily supporting teams other than their home country in the Overwatch World Cup. I wanted to find out why. Treason, after all, is a crime punishable by jail time.
For the second article in our “Believe The Hype” series profiling teams going to Blizzcon, we go into a narrative dive about Team France and the kind of dedication personal and professional growth can inspire.
It’s three o’clock in the morning when my first alarm goes off; there’s no sunlight at this hour, only birds chirping in the distance. I stumble to the kitchen, make toast, then plop down at my laptop. The matches of the final Overwatch World Cup 2018 group stage begin at a reasonable time in Paris, but in America, it’s the middle of the night.
I woke up for Team France.