The Overwatch Viewer Guide
What is Overwatch?
Blizzard’s Overwatch has broken so many people’s expectations since it’s release. Originally, Blizzard hadn’t even been trying to create a competitive (Esport) game when it was released, but the FPS game quickly gained traction and the boom in popularity made it almost a necessity. When the Overwatch League (OWL) was created, not only did the event further skyrocket the popularity of the game, but it gave the entire Esports industry it’s second foot in the door.While the hype has died off a little bit, the OWL still maintains a concurrent viewership of 145,000 viewers. The game targets a wide spread audience, accepting all ages with open arms, and a great way to pass the time in entertainment.
Overwatch is an Objective Team Based Tactical First Person Shooter game that hosts two teams of six players playing unique Heros with unique abilities. It may seem a bit complicated at first and that is kind of true. To any newcomer there may just be too much going on, but we enjoy the flashing lights and the idea of some kid making more money than us playing video games. There’s a lot more to the game than meets the eye though so let's break it down so everyone can enjoy it.
How do I watch Overwatch?
We watch the game from an Observer's point of view, which essentially means sometimes we will have a third person visual on what’s happening and sometimes we will be focused in on a First Person point of view from the players’ perspectives. This is to keep up on all the important things taking place, from teamfights to flanks or counter plays. The majority of the hype comes from when players use their Hero’s ultimate ability. There are 12 Heros in a game so from time to time things can get pretty hectic and when someone’s Ultimate ability is just that much better in the situation, the crowd goes wild.
It may appear as though there is a lot happening on the screen, but this is only true for big teamfights or flashy plays. For the most part, it’s just a bunch of people shooting at each other and defending or attacking the objective.something that may be hard to follow along with when we first start watching but in the end, the more we watch the easier it is to understand what exactly is going on.
When a lot is happening at once then we seasoned veterans often listen for the casters to fill in the gaps of information that we may be missing at any given time. They explain everything and connect the dots we otherwise wouldn’t be able to ourselves. When we look at what’s happening as simply as we can, it really is just twelve people shooting guns at each other or swinging a hammer around, if you’re playing the game you may need to know the difference but if you’re watching, all that matters is how cool someone looks doing it.
The OWL is franchised as well, a lot of Esports have been turning to this option to simulate what a lot of traditional sports do in order to help increase the longevity of not only the Esport itself, but the individual teams and players as well. That being said, OWL goes one step further and has team’s that represent different cities across the globe, making it easy to find a team you want to root for at any given event. While this information may not help you learn how to watch the game, it makes it just that much more appealing to the layman, it’s a lot easier to try and follow along when you want the London Spitfire or the Philadelphia Fusion to win, rather than Cloud 9 or Team Comcast. (Though for what it’s worth Cloud9 has a lot of other fantastic Esports orgs so don’t judge them too harshly).
Is watching Overwatch hard to do?
As it is with anything and everything else, if you want to learn how to do something, try it. If you are interested in learning about Overwatch and it’s Esports scene, or enjoy watching the Hexakill ultimates but can’t quite figure out what’s going on, try out the game itself. There is a detailed tutorial and training center as well as a great community that will more or less be willing to help you learn in a healthy setting. There aren’t gun names like in Call of Duty or CS:GO, the Heros are really all that matters here and getting to know your favorite ones, whether they be Widowmaker or Torbjorn, makes watching the games not only more understandable, but more meaningful as well.
Of course this isn’t the only option you have, there are plenty of guides online and old VODs of games that you can look back on to help increase the amount of information you are taking in. If you are looking to try out the game however, make sure to check out our other guides to help set you on the right path!
Where can I watch Overwatch?
Twitch and Mixerr also contain a lot of people who stream their gameplay for an audience. These are great places to go to when you want to learn a little bit more about the game itself, as well as learn about what Heros do, the streamers oftentimes have a role or Hero that they play more frequently than any other role or Hero, which means we may be able to even find someone we enjoy watching, playing something we enjoy playing, and teaching us new things that can help when we go to watch the next World Cup match.
What are some words in Overwatch I might not understand?
Overwatch, like many other Esports, contains a long list of unique slang that has evolved over the many years video games have been around that we don’t normally use in day to day life unless talking about the game. Let’s go over some of the less recognizable ones that people may have a harder time putting together on their own.
- 2/2/2 is the oldest Meta in Overwatch, it is a short way of saying that a team is playing two DPS, two tanks, and two supports. This is still a very viable way to play the game but as more Heroes were added and patches chained original Heros a bit, the Meta was a lot more flexible and has now stabilized enough that there are a few different ways to optimally play given your team is able to counter the enemy team.
- (Hero) one) is a quick way to explain an enemy character is damaged a lot, so that other teammates are aware and can easily turn to kill if they needed to, just one form of communication between teammates.
- C9/IMT9 is a meme within the community that is used to refer to when a team loses an objective without the enemy team actually being present, usually a technical error from the team that was able to gain the advantage and steal the point away, but ultimately forgets or accidentally doesn’t get on the point to force overtime. C9 and IMT are the only teams to have done so.
- “Let’s go GOATS” is a play on words, the original acronym just meant Greatest Of All Time which was affectionately the name given to a particular Meta a majority of players absolutely hated, which essentially meant Go All Tanks and Supports, three Tanks and three Support heroes were the bane of everyone else's existence for an extended amount of time.
- Trickle is a term used when explaining that a team is going in and dying one by one in an obviously unorganized fashion. You won’t hear this too much in Pro matches but occasionally analysts or casters will comment on it if a game includes an instance of it.
- Boss- Bastion Orissa Sigma Symmetra is a composition that focuses on protecting a single damage dealer and giving them as many opportunities to stay as safe as possible.
- Frag/Fragging out is an FPS term for “Kill” it is from a long time ago but holds up well in FPS game lingo to this day.
Overwatch is going to be a little more complicated than some other Esports when someone who’s never watched or played it before stumbles upon it, but repetition is key, the more you watch and listen the more the information will stick with you and the more fun you can have while watching the next time.
What should I do next?
Overwatch is a great game and has done wonders for the Esports scene, it has a huge following and the franchise based teams give it a little more meaning to some people. Watching it is easy, and learning how to enjoy it is even easier. Video games bring people together and Esports exemplifies that in a hundred different ways, if you want to learn even more about it, give it a go, if not, make sure you’re listening to the shoutcasters and really focusing on what they’re saying to put together all of the complicated parts of the story.