Almost a month ago now, /u/NovaxRangerx made a post on the Competitive Overwatch subreddit titled “Where is the Podcast and Youtube Content Support for Competitive Overwatch?”
That question has been a sticking point for me lately, mostly because I agree with it so strongly. Where is the support for competitive-focused video/audio? Why do video series and podcasts seem to struggle in this space, when written work seems to do fairly well?
There were, of course, plenty of comments that addressed Nova’s question. “For me, I’d rather read about it than watch a video on it,” reads the top comment. “I get my roster leaks, news, and hot takes from r/cow/new, so I don’t need the videos or talk shows where the players are tight lipped about a lot of the things going on behind-the-scenes.”
The next comment was just as direct. /u/RyRocks101 brought up a great point – “I think that it should come as a signal to these creators that they should change their content to have a wider appeal, rather than forcing people to watch things that they don’t find interesting.”
So What’s the Deal?
From these two comments alone, we can see a lot of the community’s feelings towards video content and podcasts. They’re not as fast as a written article, they’re not as insightful, they’re not as interesting. Even content with OWL players, coaches, and staff can struggle. So what needs to change?
That’s not an easy question to answer, I’ll admit. What you, the content consumer, want out of your podcasts and videos is entirely up to you. What I can do, however, is give you a short list of my favorite Overwatch-focused content, and let you find something you might like. And if you can’t find something, be sure to let me know!
Before I get into this list, though, we have to make a deal. For this to actually be useful for you, you have to actually go in and watch/listen to some of this stuff, ok? Yes, that will take time. Yes, you probably won’t like at least one of these. But that’s ok! There will be some things in here you DO like. And that’s the important part.
For a full list of content, I’d recommend looking at OWRecall, which lists literally every OW show it can find. Which is a lot. While I’d love to go over each and every entry on their list, I also want to finish this article sometime before 2020. Let’s get started.
Host: John “kickedtripod” Hortsmann
If you’ve seen any conversation about OW video content lately, you’ve seen people talking about Tactical Crouch. With great production value and in-depth discussions, this is the perfect podcast for the fan that wants a bigger brain. Yiska and Volamel are some of the most insightful comment creators in the scene right now, and they both riff well off one another, and off of kickedtripod, who does a great job keeping things on topic. Usually.
This is why you subscribe to @YiskaOut.
What's your take on the XL2 releasing serviceable players in favor of local ones?
— Tactical Crouch + OWL Daily (@OWLDailyShow) January 16, 2019
TC primarily focuses on the Overwatch League, with player discussions and power rankings galore. While this is a fairly serious show, these three are never afraid to go a bit off the rails in the hunt for great content. My advice: watch the Sideshow episode. You definitely won’t regret it.
Host: Samantha “NaoriMizuki” Timms
If Contenders content is your jam, The Grind is the show for you. It’s part of BroadcastGG’s line of educational content, and features guest appearances from a host of players, casters, and production staff from across the world. Want to hear form HamTornado and Boopasaurus, NA’s newest casting duo? The Grind. Want to listen in on Kephrii’s thoughts on his Contenders run? The Grind. Want to hear Avast meme it up for a straight hour? Just go to his Twitter or watch an NA Contenders game… but also, The Grind.
The host of the show, NaoriMizuki, is arguably one of South Africa’s most notable Overwatch exports. (There are plenty of those, by the way, but that’s another article.) BGG’s efforts to grab high-profile guests and get great conversations out of them is largely thanks to Naori, as well as the ridiculously strong production crew they have. That means you know you’re getting a good product, every time.
You can also thank The Grind for Boopasaurus’s new hair-do, too.
— The Grind (@TheGrindOW) January 12, 2019
Host: Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman
Guests: Like, a lot
Ultimate Advantage is a podcast for the fans that want to know about the earlier days of Overwatch. The bulk of its episodes were published a year ago – though we did get an episode last month featuring Jake, Elk, and Jayne – and each features a trio of high-level Overwatch stars talking about the game they love. Dogman’s quite the host, too – like kickedtripod, he knows how to lead discussions on higher level concepts, given his experience playing for Kungarna, LNL, and ATL Academy. This is a show for fans that value star power, and fans that want to see the game through the players’ eyes.
Host: Sabriel “Sabriality” Mastin
I can hear you all already. “Thibble, these shows are all long and in-depth! I don’t have time for that! What if I just want a quick, easy summary of what’s happening in the Overwatch scene?”
I’ve got three words for you, dear reader: Pulse. Bomb. Ready.
Contenders gets divisions and live events, the @Outlaws get a new-ish head of brand, and OWL Commissioner Nate Nanzer talks patches. https://t.co/kDbMY6HMzx #Overwatch #esports pic.twitter.com/J9PRQoplbZ
— Pulse Bomb Ready (@pbr_show) January 18, 2019
PBR in this context isn’t referring to the hipster beer – it’s a quick and easy 1-2 minute audio post that breaks down the major events you need to know about in the Overwatch scene. No muss, no fuss. Sabriel is an experienced content creator for Overbuff, which means you can trust her to stay on top of things – even if you might not be able to yourself. A great show for people who often find themselves on /r/OutoftheLoop.
Guests: Bonnie “bonniequeue” Qu and Biomechas
If you’re a fan of…
- Women in esports
- The history of Korean and Chinese Overwatch
- Social Media stuff
- More memes
… then you’ll like HOT POT. The episodes are fairly short, as far as podcasts go, but each is packed with insightful conversation and plenty of laughs. And while the vast majority of OW podcasts are male dominated, HOT POT remains an all-female show – which is something we definitely need more of, considering how huge the female fanbase is in Overwatch. Representation matters, folks!
Host: Katrina Weil
Guests: Connor Knudsen, ME, etc.
Look, I’m not gonna miss an opportunity to self-plug here, ok? WatchHaus is a great show, and you should be watching it. We talk about Contenders, we talk about the Overwatch League, we talk about Katrina’s inability to find a date – it’s got everything!
In a world of fairly serious, no-nonsense podcasts, we’re doing our best to make a properly fun talk show. That means the occasional segment, plenty of banter, lots of laid back discussion, and… well, whatever this is.
— WatchHaus (@WatchHaus_) December 10, 2018
We’ve also had some great guests, including big names like Vowels, Maid, Dustin Steiner, GetAmazed and ioStux. If you don’t know who those people are, well… go watch an episode or two and find out!
But Wait, There’s More
As mentioned above, there are tons of great Overwatch shows and podcasts out there right now. If you haven’t found something you like, odds are you just haven’t looked hard enough. In addition to the shows I’ve listed so far, I would also highly recommend:
Anything from Dividing_by_0
Geo’s “Keeping Up With Contenders” Series
Oversight, ft. Thoorin and MonteCristo
Omnic Lab, ft. Andres “IplaiGames” Potdevin and NotRob
PitStop, hosted by EU Contenders host Sam “Tech Girl” Wright
The High Noon Podcast, ft. Jim “Deathblow” Reid and Blevins
Around the Watch, ft. resident OWL stats guy CaptainPlanet, Vancouver Titans coach Harsha Bandi, and lots more
The Bird Watchers, ft. Clay and Plat-King Ryan (what a name!)
On the Flank, ft. John “JWGeorge” George and Joe Kirkpatrick
The OWL Recap, ft. IplaiGames and Blazzin Bob
The Broverwatch, ft. Adam Cook and Calder Amos-Wood
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Featured Image Courtesy of Michelle Theodore