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Overwatch 2: A Time of New Beginnings and Reminiscing

Overwatch 2 Leak

The lead-up to the closed beta of Overwatch 2 has brought a lot of emotions to the community who have waited for a long time for this new game. The spark of excitement is in the air for the newest rendition of the game that the community has fallen in love with over the years. But leading up to the release, the thing that has garnered the most attention is the past reappearing in front of the eyes of many fans.

The Lead-Up

It is no secret that many of the Korean Overwatch players are good friends with each other outside of the game. This stems from the community of pro players during the APEX era and then the Overwatch League. As the Overwatch League has gone along, more of the original fan-favorite names have retired or gone to other games. Though players like Bumper and Stitch have been greatly missed fans have found new players to follow and cheer for. There is always a buzz of excitement when one of these players hop on Overwatch.

Twitch Pick-Up Match

Courtesy of Jjonak’s Twitch Stream

On April 24, the Twitch Overwatch channel saw a massive bump in viewership with 125.7k viewers even 10 minutes before the closed beta drop. Some of the ex-Korean pros as well as current players decided to stream a pick-up match for the fans on the Overwatch 1 game one last time.

Old favorites Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu, Sangbeom ‘Bumper’ Park, Chunghee ‘Stitch’ Lee, Hyojong ‘Haksal’ Kim,  Jungmin ‘Mirage’ Bae, Jungkeun ‘Rapel’ Kim, Gido ‘Gido’ Moon, Janghyeon ‘Tizi’ Hwang, Hyeonwoo ‘Jjanu’ Choi, and Sunghyeon ‘Jjonak’ Bang were seen playing with current Overwatch League players of Seungjun ‘Whoru’ Lee and Junho ‘Fury’ Kim. Some of these players haven’t been really seen on Overwatch since they left the Overwatch League. The throwback of fan-favorite players playing with their friends gave fans a great lead-up to the open beta release.

Courtesy of Jjonak’s Twitch Stream

The players decided to play GOATs. There was no amazing DPS play even though there were arguably some of the best DPS players in the past Overwatch metas in the pick-up game. It was the last hurrah of one of the most pervasive metas in Overwatch 1, that almost defined the game. The players not only ran GOATs but were competitive wanting that one last victory over their friends.

The Joy

The atmosphere in the match was loud and chaotic. But within the ear-splitting screaming, arguments, and comms it was the sound of happiness that we as a community haven’t heard from these players in a long time. The end of Overwatch 1 seeming gave a second wind to have all the past pressures that were associated with this game shift away. The pure serotonin of the players blaming each other, teasing, and just pure enjoying multiple map types brought smiles to the community.

Return of Legends

Not only was it the pickup matches but names such as Injae ‘Esca’ Kim who has been gone from the scene really since the end of APEX Season 4 announcing that he wanted to come back to the game and even the brief sighting of names such as Joonhyuk ‘Zunba’ Kim logging in to the game brought a sense of reminiscing as legendary players migrated back to the game that they started out to. But also an air of freshness of the new game that is waiting for the community. Though this is a new beginning it is also brought a throwback feeling seeing all these ex-players on the new rendition of the game.

Courtesy of Ryujehong’s Twitch stream

Even after the PUG match of Overwatch 1, to see players like Esca on Overwatch 2 duoing with old teammates made many fans sentimental on top of excited for the next chapter of the Overwatch. The new era of Overwatch is bringing along the essential pieces that turned it into what it is today, but also the new components that will help this game continue on in the future for years to come.

In Conclusion

This overview provides commentary of the players, community, and game of Overwatch 2. And also, Overwatch 2 is still very much in beta. Just because some things weren’t changed, doesn’t mean they won’t receive alterations in the future. There may be bugs, and not all visuals are final. Screenshots reflect the state of the game at the time of playing and changes may be made after the publication of the article. Treat the article as an analysis of the beta, not the final game.

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