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Overwatch

Overwatch League Talent on Toxicity, Analyzing, and More

Recently, the Overwatch League broadcast team, including analysts such as Soe “Soembie” Gschwind-Penski, Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson, and Brennon “Bren” Hook alongside all the casters, did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the Overwatch subreddit in preparation for the Overwatch League Grand Finals. While most questions talked about the upcoming game, some of the more interesting questions were topics not entirely related to the highest anticipated game of the season.

Toxicity

2018-04-25 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

A question that was asked by Reddit user u/Hecka_Cakey was “ (To) Any and all – how do you deal with the criticism and online harassment? Twitch chat and reddit comments can be a pretty brutal place.”

This question is quite a fair one to ask, especially with the consistent anti-LGBTQ chat that occurs in the official Overwatch League stream, ranging anywhere from clear trolling to obvious seething hatred. Malik Forté’s response was fairly simple, and one many agree with.

“My best way to deal with online harassment is to not deal with it at all. If it’s pure nonsense and obviously senseless toxicity, I hit that mute button and continue about my day.”

Erik “DoA” Lonnquist also dropped his thoughts in on the situation

talent takedown ratings
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“I’ve honestly never really been bothered by online hate. I decided early on that it doesn’t matter what they say if I feel satisfied with my level of effort and I’m enjoying myself. You also have to accept that you can’t please everyone. If I’m just not the style someone likes, that’s perfectly fine! The great thing about OWL is that we’ve got a lot of different personalities and styles in our casters and there’s pretty much something for everyone!”

Analysts

The next question came from Reddit user u/Isord, asking 

“I have a question for the three analysts.

What does it take to prove yourself as an analyst when your own game-play isn’t top tier? And did you ever have “impostor syndrome” where you questioned whether your own expertise was up to snuff because of it?”

A lot of the analysts are open about their ranks, with Sideshow being a Gold ranked support player and Bren ranging from being a platinum to diamond Genji player. With Jonathan “Reinforce” Larsson not being a guest on the desk anymore, it can be easy for viewers to second guess that analysis that takes place. Bren’s answer was heartfelt but full of his signature humor.

2018-04-04 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“Never because of my own gameplay.

Its two separate things to analyse a game when you have access to the positioning and ultimate percentages at all times, when you can instantly see when a team switches compositions, when you have access to constantly live updated statistics.

In game I turn my brain off, I enter the feedmobile baby.

Ultimate tracking? Who needs it.

Pushing the flank? I’m on it.

Playing Genji in 2019? YOU. ALREADY. KNOW.”

Casting

Image Courtesy of Overwatch Wire

Lastly, Reddit user u/shunnedlizardgaming asked “One more question, just for the commentators: what do you think is the toughest aspect of casting matches, given the live nature of them? Do you have any special techniques you’ve acquired over time that have helped?”

Mitch “Uber” Leslie was one of the first to answer this question with his thoughts. 

“The speed of them, probably. I’ve developed a mental hierarchy of priority when it comes down to each interaction, each kill etc in a fight so that I can deliver the most important information first and not spend too much time covering the less impactful stuff”

talent takedown ratings
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Seth “Achilios” King chimed in with his thoughts after his first year of Overwatch League casting

“Keeping up, conveying the priority info first, and staying fresh in the commentary. I know I have several repeat phrases, and trying to combat those in the moment can be difficult.”

With the Overwatch League Grand Finals just up ahead, it was refreshing for many fans to get to know the talent that would help make this match a great one for them. The advice the talent gave is sure to help others, and the fact that the thread happens signals good things to come from the team next season, which can not come soon enough.

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