Blizzard Arena isn’t the only place to feature some intense Overwatch-themed competition. The Overwatch Twitter-verse has become a battlefield strewn with gifs of bald eagles, American flags, and explosions- which can only mean one thing…
The first week of stage 4 was quite interesting as we saw some teams that were expected to be very good falter. We had five teams sweep the week and five teams get swept. If this continues we could see not only the stage playoffs but season playoffs come down to the wire in the coming weeks.
As a reminder, this is overall power rankings, not just for this stage.
Here are the power rankings heading into week 2:
12. Shanghai Dragons 0-2 (VS. Fusion & Excelsior)
These Dragons are much more like Mushu than Drogon. Many people expected their match-up against the Fuel to be their time they would finally win a match. It was a new stage and they had time to finally practice and develop as a team. Then they lost, again.
Week 2 will not bring them any reprieve as they go up against two squads that are 2-0. There is one major positive though, they are not in last as their map record is better than both London’s and Florida’s.
11. Florida Mayhem 0-2 (VS. Valiant & Gladiators)
This team is truthfully not much better than the Dragons at this point. They have had some moments but none really to talk about in week 1. Even though they were able to secure a tie against the Excelsior on one map they were then swept by the Fusion.
It will be a Los Angeles week for the Mayhem as they face the two hometown teams who are also sporting 2-0 records. This team has the ability to surprise and their entrances continue to be solid but, that might be the only thing they have going for them.
10. Dallas Fuel 1-1 (VS. Uprising & Fusion)
The Fuel currently sit in 7th in the league for this stage and that’s great. But, let’s not forget that their win was against the Mushu’s, sorry Dragons. They were then promptly swept by the Gladiators in their next game. Seagull is finally seeming to learn D.Va and that should help this team going forward.
The runners-up last stage look a little like they do when they go into their slump. Boston could be beatable this coming week is Dallas is truly able to come together. As for the Valiant, it is likely not the same.
9. London Spitfire 0-2 (vs. shock & Dynasty)
Who would have guessed this fall from grace? A team that made the first two playoffs (when only three teams did) has won five of their last 12 matches and were only able to win one map in week one. To be fair to them they played the Excelsior and the suddenly hot Outlaws but those are teams they should at least be able to look even against.
This is a really major week for the Spitfire. They are still sitting third in the season standings and are currently in the playoffs. But, if they have another terrible week against a rising Shock team and a hungry Dynasty squad they could fall right out of the playoffs by weeks end.
8. San Francisco Shock 1-1 (Vs. Spitfire & Outlaws)
After barely missing the playoffs in Stage 3 this team had a solid showing to start off Stage 4. After losing a close series against the Gladiators the Shock were able to beat a struggling Seoul Dynasty team. While Seoul has been pretty bad lately that doesn’t mean the Shock don’t deserve the credit. This team is vastly improved and could beat just about anyone at any time.
If the Shock want to show that they’re the real deal this week would be a good time to do so. London is coming off an atrocious week but is still a solid squad. A win back to back weeks against “Korean teams” would be huge for them. Also if they can cool off Houston then San Fran might be on Stage 4 playoff watch.
7. Seoul Dynasty 0-2 (vs. Excelsior & Spitfire)
Seoul might be the most disappointing team this entire season in the OWL. They have never made a playoff, are barely holding onto the sixth season playoff spot, and they went 0-2 in week 1. Their match against the Valiant was reminiscent of what they look like when they are playing their game even in a loss. Against the Shock, they went back to their average form.
Like their London counterparts, this is a nut up or shut-up week for the Dynasty. The Excelsior are (spoiler) easily the best team in the league and they always lose one game per stage. Seoul better hope it’s against them. As for their game against London, that team has fallen even further than them. If the Dynasty miss out on that game then they could be well on their way to finishing in the bottom third of the league.
6. Philadelphia Fusion 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Fuel)
After shocking the Uprising the Fusion cruised in their game against the Mayhem to start of the stage well. This team continues to surprise the league with their consistent play. They are in fifth for the season due to having the most games played because they can’t finish teams off. They are tied with third record-wise and if they win both this week they could be the only team in that spot by the end of the week.
With their week 2 schedule, it would not be surprising to see this team sitting at 4-0. While both the Dragons and Fuel are getting better they still are no match for the Fusion.
5. Los Angeles Gladiators 2-0 (vs. Outlaws & Mayhem)
Talk about a team on the rise. This team has been slowly climbing the ranks ever since they added Fissure and Silkthread. They are very consistent in their team-fights and after taking care of business against the Shock and Fuel the Gladiators will look to continue to climb.
This week features their toughest match of weeks 1 and 2, the Outlaws. This will be a test for both teams as they continue to push towards not just a stage playoff but, also the season playoffs. If the Gladiators cannot be upset by the Mayhem and take at least two maps against Houston, if not the match, then they could find themselves in the top six.
4. Houston Outlaws 2-0 (vs. Gladiators & Shock)
After a less than stellar Stage 3 it looks like Jake and the boys are back. They swept the Spitfire in convincing fashion and 3-1’d Boston. Is it possible that the meta this time around suits them better? Probably. What is more important is that they looked like they were back in a groove as a team. Last stage they seemed to struggle to find their cohesion that has made them so good.
The Outlaws sit right outside of a playoff spot currently but with six teams within two games of each other, everything can change week by week. They start off the week by playing a team that is scorching hot and only two map losses behind them. This could be an epic series and if the Outlaws can win it, even barely, then they are announcing to everyone to watch out.
3. Boston Uprising 0-2 (vs. fuel & Valiant)
Oh Boston, what was up this week? After not losing a single game last stage they go out and lose both of their week 1 games 3-1. While the Fusion and Outlaws are very good teams, one would expect that Boston would win at least one of their match-ups. They are still sitting in second in the overall standings and would have to go into a huge slump to fall out of it.
Boston will face Dallas and the LA Valiant this week. Dallas can put up a fight but unless Boston throw, they should be able to handle this match-up. The Valiant and Boston are going to be going blow for blow. These teams match-up pretty well across the board and should have a very entertaining series.
2. Los Angeles Valiant 2-0 (vs. Mayhem & Uprising)
This team continues to play very well at all positions, even after losing Silkthread. They were able to beat Seoul in overtime in an impressive series for them and then they handled Shanghai. This team is currently in the playoffs and it is unlikely that they will fall out as they currently sit in fourth.
This week they have the Mayhem and the Uprising. The Mayhem will more than likely take one map off of the Valiant but shouldn’t be much of a threat. The Uprising are a totally different story. While they had a rough week, they tend to do this at times. Boston and LA will absolutely be battling it out this week in what should be an excellent match.
1. New York Excelsior 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Dynasty)
Is anyone honestly even surprised at this point? They are 29-3 this season and continued their dominance by beating the Mayhem and Spitfire this week. The Excelsior do not seem to have any glaring weaknesses. If anything the announcement of new teams joining might be the only thing as they could potentially lose some players this offseason. Not saying they will win season one because anything can happen but, this team is incredibly good.
Focusing on this coming week, New York plays Shanghai and Seoul. The Shanghai game is a win 99 times out of 100. Seoul, on the other hand, might be like a starved tiger. If the Excelsior aren’t careful they could lose their one match a stage this week.
“From Our Haus to Yours”
Even though Stage 4 just started, the Overwatch League is on a new patch. Moreover, Ji-Hyeok “Birdring” Kim has returned to the London Spitfire’s lineup, making an appearance for the first time since early in Stage 3. The Spitfire are still looking shaky after their match against the Houston Outlaws. The Spitfire have never beat Houston, as the Outlaws are 4-0 against them in the regular season. More impressively from the Outlaws, London’s fourth loss came as a brutal 4-0 sweep. Are the London Spitfire, the Stage 1 Champions, still a team to be worried about?
No Birdring, No Widowmaker
With the double sniper meta becoming more prevalent, Birdring is making his return at the right time. Snipers have become an ever-increasing importance for teams in Stage 3 and Stage 4. In Stage 3 the London Spitfire weren’t nearly as dominant, Birdring’s absence was felt. A great Widowmaker, like Birdring, can dominate space and make enemies fear peeking at any position. In Stage 3, the London Spitfire had to opt out of Widowmaker duels because Birdring was unable to play. However, with Birdring back in the mix, will the London Spitfire return to form?
Not Nearly as Dominant
Since the start of Stage 3, teams have closed in on the London Spitfire in the overall standings. A once dominant London Spitfire, who finished in the top three during both Stage 1 and Stage 2, and finished sixth in Stage 3 with a 5-5 record. Although they didn’t have Birdring, this is still concerning for London Spitfire fans and players. A team with a star-studded roster, who dominated Stage 1 and Stage 2, should not go 5-5 in a stage.
Instead of improving, it seems like they have hit their peak early on in the Overwatch League. Meanwhile, teams like the Boston Uprising, Philadelphia Fusion, Los Angeles Valiant, Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock are continuing to improve, climbing the standings each week. With the London Spitfire on a downward trend and other teams on an upward trend, will London have another shaky stage?
London Can Prove Teams Wrong
With the playoffs coming up soon, every win matters for teams in Stage 4. As it currently stands, the London Spitfire are third in the overall standings. However, they are nowhere near safe. Three teams are currently one game behind them, while two other teams only trail by three games.
Six teams make the Playoffs for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. The London Spitfire need to do well in Stage 4 if they want to play in the playoff spotlight. The good news is that, with Birdring back and a meta that favors double snipers, the London Spitfire can do well in Stage 4. But the question is: can the Spitfire return to their strong play that we saw during the regular season?
The road won’t be easy, but Stage 4 offers an opportunity for the London Spitfire – an opportunity to rise above their recently lacking performance and impress all Overwatch League viewers. They can prove, once again, that they are a team to be feared.
To find out if the London Spitfire can finish the rest of Stage 4 strong and make the Playoffs, tune into the Overwatch League.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch
The Overwatch League has confirmed that the new reworked Hanzo patch will not be available to play in Stage 4. However, there are still several major changes coming to the game during Stage 4. Some of these changes include buffs to heroes like Reaper and Mei and nerfs to heroes such as D.Va and Zenyatta. Most importantly, Bridgitte will be available to play in the Overwatch League. It will be interesting to see how teams will adapt and create new strategies regarding these changes.
Most people are playing on the current Overwatch patch, with the new, reworked Hanzo. Once he is available to play in the Overwatch League, perhaps in the Playoffs, it will drastically change how teams approach the meta. With the major rework to Hanzo, he is stronger, more mobile, and generally has more reasons to be used in professional play. There is no doubt that his impact will be felt. The archer will take the competition by storm.
An Evolving Kit
Hanzo’s rework offers a few tweaks to his kit, to help better deal with threats. Hanzo’s new ability, Storm Arrow, replaces Scatter Arrow. Storm Arrow allows Hanzo to shred tanks even faster. Instead of aiming at the ground and being able to kill people in one shot with Scatter Arrow, Hanzo now shreds multiple enemies with Storm Arrow. When this new move is activated, Hanzo rapidly fires six arrows for a short duration. Unlike Scatter Arrow, all Storm Arrows can land as a critical hit on an enemy. While Scatter Arrow before had more burst damage, Storm Arrow allows Hanzo to have more consistent damage, which can be even deadlier than scatter arrow when landing consecutive headshots.
Hanzo’s other big change is the addition of a new movement ability: Lunge. This move allows Hanzo to do a brief air dash. This dash can be used in any direction. It can be used to dash backwards when enemies are diving onto Hanzo. Players can also dive forward with it to be more aggressive. Another bonus, Hanzo can fire arrows while using Lunge. The addition of Lunge puts Hanzo in a better position when it comes to playability. Before the rework, Hanzo was nearly unplayable in professional play. Hanzo’s only chance of survival during a dive was to frantically use using Scatter Arrows to kill enemies. With the addition of Lunge, he now has a reliable escape.
To learn more and see how the new Hanzo impacts high level Overwatch play, “Wraxu” – a Top 500 Overwatch Player – showcases the new Hanzo’s rework during a competitive ladder game.
Double Snipers Could Be Seen More
With the Hanzo rework, there is a high chance that teams will run double sniper compositions in the future, utilizing the abilities of Widowmaker and Hanzo together. Double Sniper compositions are hard to play against because of their high direct damage output. With the best players hitting most of their shots onto enemies when using these heroes, this composition could be deadly. Only getting one or two picks can snowball the entire fight in favor of one team or the other. However, with the introduction of Bridgitte and changes to other heroes, it will be exciting to see what heroes’ teams decide to prioritize.
Although Hanzo is unavailable to play in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League, he will certainly impact the competitive ladder. In the future stages of the Overwatch League, his play time will see an increase. For now, teams will not have to worry about the new Hanzo. Instead, they must adapt around Bridgitte and the other changes that Blizzard introduced. To see how the introduction of Bridgitte and how Hanzo will impact the future of Overwatch, tune into Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch
Video Credit: Wraxu/Overwatch Pro
Just a few weeks after the Overwatch archives event has ended, the anniversary event is about to begin. Slated to begin May 22nd, this anniversary event will be a must play for many Overwatch fans. Not only can you grab new skins, but there’s a whole lot more to look forward to.
All the Overwatch Seasonal Skins
You didn’t read that wrong. Blizzard has announced that all past seasonal skins from Overwatch events will be available for purchase or to find in your loot box during the anniversary event. If you missed out at all during past Halloweens, Winter Wonderlands or summer games, be prepared to claw your way through loot boxes for the sweet sweet loot. Never have the seasonal skins been in such easy grasp of many fans, and the length of the event, May 22nd to June 11th, offers fans plenty of time. Along with past returning skins, some heroes will be getting new digs. There will be a total of eight new legendary skins and three new epic ones. Judging by the announcement, pirate Junkrat will be one of the epic skins.
Dance your heart out
The highly coveted dance emotes are coming back! Along with their re-arrival, Moira, Doomfist, and Brigitte will be getting a dance emote as well. A highly popular item, and one that always entertains before a match starts is a great incentive for increased play in Overwatch. Not only this, but when you pull off a potential POTG you’ll be able to gloat in style. A great way to view all of these are over at the Overwatch anniversary homepage.
Blizzard announced that all past seasonal brawls will be returning. To many fans chagrin, they have their eyes set for more Lucioball. For others, it will be Mei’s yeti hunt or snowball fight. Whatever your guilty brawl pleasure, Blizzard is ready to bring it back for your enjoyment. It’s a great way to relax after some heavy competitive games, and an even better one for laughs. Coinciding with a free weekend of play to the public, Blizzard is ready to show those not in the game exactly what they’re about.
Deathmatch getting some love
Deathmatch is benefiting a lot from the anniversary event. A different take on the Overwatch game mode that sees it become a more traditional shooter, it’s loved by many. For this event, Blizzard is updating the mode with a new map, Petra, and a competitive mode. There will be ranks, placements, and dreaded SR loss. In a mode that was called for often, then often neglected, it’s nice to see Blizzard continue to tinker with modes and maps. Also, adding a new map in any capacity after the recently released Rialto means that Blizzard is intent on bringing fans of Overwatch more content of what they want.
In summary, this event is great for anyone who missed out on that skin, who misses playing that seasonal game mode. It’s a testament to the fan base Overwatch has had throughout its two years, and a thank you to anyone who has joined the world to experience it’s joy. So for the next week, get ready to grind for those skins or emotes and mostly, go enjoy yourselves.
Featured photo from Siliconera
Season 1 of the Overwatch League is nearly over. Only Stage 4 remains as teams battle it out to make the playoffs. As of now, the only team to have officially made it into the playoffs are the New York Excelsior. Their dominance has been well documented, as they have been to every stage final and won the last two.
Who can make the playoffs?
Unlike the Stage playoffs, the Season playoffs will have six teams battling it out for the Season 1 title. As of now, the only team to clinch a spot is the aforementioned New York Excelsior. There are also three teams that have been eliminated. These teams include the Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem and the winless Shanghai Dragons. That leaves eight teams to battle it out for the five remaining playoff spots.
Stage 4 will feature many important match-ups as many of the teams will be playing for their season playoff lives.
“Never tell me the odds”
You may be wondering to yourself: “what are the odds of my team winning it all?” Look no further, there are a bunch of trustworthy betting sites on sportsbettingdime.com that will provide you with the most up-to-date odds. Overwatch League is still a fairly new esports league, compared to others like Dota 2 and League of Legends so not all sportsbooks will have Overwatch League odds. Take your time to look over each site as they each have their own advantages. In this case, try to pick one that offers a sign-up bonus because if you’re planning on betting on a team that’s not the New York Excelsior and your team doesn’t win, at least you get some sort of compensation.
Here are the most recent odds:
New York Excelsior (2/3)
Take ’em or Leave ’em
The Spitfire and the Dynasty.
The Uprising and the Fusion.
Boston was the best team for most of Stage 3 and should be able to make the changes necessary to put up a fight against the Excelsior. As for the Fusion, they had a down Stage but have been consistent for most of the season. Look for them to make some adjustments as they push for the playoffs and could surprise a couple teams.
Stage 3 of the Overwatch League just finished this past week and the New York Excelsior took home a Stage Championship for the second time now. More impressively, the stage titles were back to back. And even though the Boston Uprising went an undefeated 10-0 in the Stage 3 regular season, the New York Excelsior got the best of them in the Stage 3 Finals. The NYXL have cemented that they are the best team in the Overwatch League. With only Stage 4 left and then the Playoffs, only one question remains: Will the New York Excelsior achieve the three-peat and win a third straight stage title?
As much as some teams are improving, no one can find a way stop the colossal NYXL. Even though Boston played well in the Stage 3 regular season, the NYXL took care of business and cleanly swept them in the Stage 3 Finals. The reasons are clear why the NYXL are the favorites to not only win the Stage 4 Championship title, but also the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. The NYXL have proven that they have talent, dedication, and team coordination to outplay any opponent that stands in their way.
The New York Excelsior’s track record since the start of the Overwatch League is astounding. In thirty regular season games – from Stage 1 until Stage 3 – the NYXL are 27-3 with a +68 map differential. Only three losses and huge map lead!
While all teams in the Overwatch League are highly skilled and consist of the best Overwatch players in the world, the NYXL prove to be a cut above the rest. Perhaps their most defining characteristic is the consistency of their domination over other teams. The NYXL have reigned victorious so often that the closest team in the overall standings, the Boston Uprising, are still five games behind. With only ten games left until the Playoffs, unless a drastic slip-up occurs, the NYXL will hold the top spot in the standings by the end of Stage 4.
In addition to their amazing regular season play, the NYXL know how to adapt during high pressure series. Their ability to counter opponents is a big reason why they are successful during the Stage Playoffs. The NYXL have made it to all the Stage Finals so far. They have won Stage 2 and Stage 3, only losing their series in Stage 1 to a reverse sweep by the London Spitfire. Because of their continual dominance, one can expect the NYXL to make the Stage Finals again with little trouble.
The only question is – will they win it again?
Stage 4 Finals Prediction
With the final stage beginning this week, every map and win matters. Teams will be playing hard every game to secure their spot for the playoffs. Since the NYXL want to be sure that they are the number one seed, we can expect them to stay in form throughout Stage 4, eventually making it to the Stage 4 Finals as well. With Ji-Hyeok “Birdring” Kim back in the mix for the London Spitfire and the recent, streaky performance by the Boston Uprising, one of those two teams will likely play against the NYXL in the finals. However, the New York Excelsior are still the favorites and will take the series in the Stage 4 Finals 3-1.
Will anyone be able to slow the New York Excelsior or will they complete the three-peat? To find out, tune into Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment recently released Overwatch’s 27th hero. This has brought about mixed feelings among players. Brigitte, Overwatch’s newest character, is a support hero who is essentially a weaker version of Reinhardt that can also heal allies. Brigitte’s unique but strong kit leaves a far greater impact than what people initially thought. Since her release, numerous Overwatch players have agreed that Brigitte may have broken the Overwatch meta.
Gone with the Old and In with the New
Previously, Overwatch teams would run dive – an easy to play and extremely punishing team composition to use against poorly coordinated teams. dive is effective because teams can single out and eliminate an enemy. This allows teams that run dive to attain a numbers advantage. With the introduction of Brigitte, everything changed.
Brigitte’s whole kit offers a variety of ways to counter dive. First, Brigitte’s passive ability, Inspire, heals nearby allies when she deals damage. This is great tool in general when fighting as a team. Similarly, another one of Brigitte’s abilities, Repair Pack, allows her to target heal a single ally. Repair Pack heals for 150 health and over-heals by adding additional armor for any extra healing past a hero’s maximum health pool. This ability crosses the line of fairness and steps in absurdity, as it allows teammates to become significantly more durable.
Shield Bash is another tool that Brigitte can use to stop a dive. Brigitte’s Shield Bash is like McCree’s Flashbang, in that it stuns opponents for a short period of time, even when enemies have their shield deployed. Shield Bash is great for stopping enemy heroes that may be diving or flanking. Brigitte’s last normal ability, Whip Shot, knocks back any person that her flail meets. This is yet another tool that she can use to stop a dive.
Finally, Brigitte’s Ultimate, Rally, speeds up teammates around her and provides them with armor. Rally affords 15 armor every second for ten seconds, and, at maximum, can grant 150 armor to a teammate. Moreover, this armor also stacks with other heroes who provide armor or additional shields. Brigitte, when used with a Symmetra Shield Generator or Torbjorn armor packs, is axiomatically difficult to kill unless you can strip off enemy armor with Sombra’s EMP. As strong as she is, Brigitte has too many tools to deal with divers.
To see learn more about Brigitte’s abilities, check out the video below.
Triple Tank and/or Triple Support?
Brigitte has changed competitive Overwatch quite drastically. Players in competitive solo queue run triple support or triple tank compositions because dive is virtually impossible to play. Brigitte can counter any person who dives in or flanks. Additionally, Brigitte gives so much healing and armor that it can make winning a fight seem like a futile endeavor. She has shifted the meta completely.
Brigitte is good for Overwatch. However, as of writing, she is undeniably overpowered. The fact that she alone can counter an entire team composition has caused many players to express understandable concern. Changes to Overwatch, or any competitive game, should not be so drastic that they significantly change how most players approach their playstyle. It is not healthy for the game’s longevity nor its competitive edge. Players have walked away from the game because she is frustrating to play against.
This is just one of the few problems that haunts Overwatch and its players. Currently, Blizzard is refusing to address this. If Blizzard can create a healthy balance between heroes’ strengths and weaknesses, Overwatch could be even more appealing.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch
Videos Clips: Overwatch
The world of esports is growing very quickly. Estimations show that it will be larger than a $1.5 Billion industry in the next couple years. We are seeing more major sponsors for leagues and teams. With this, esports are switching over to a franchising system. This can only mean more money coming into esports.
With franchising comes the need for arenas. For a long time, esports were not taken all that seriously because many worried that either a certain esport wouldn’t last long enough or that esports would be unable to be franchised because they wouldn’t make enough money. Well, Twitch and other streaming services changed that. This grew the audiences to very high levels. What it also did, however, was bring about a new worry.
Would people go to games or would they just prefer to watch it online? After spending time at TD Gardens in Boston, The Fillmore in Miami for NA LCS, talking with other journalists, and following both League and Overwatch League closely, I can tell you that people will absolutely go to these games weekly.
What about all the other events that have come before this?
This is a valid question. The answer is that most events or even leagues can be categorized into two different areas right now.
- Most of these events are only happening maybe once a month as tournaments or major events that happen a couple times a year. Examples of this are CS:GO and Dota 2. What these events prove is that if there is a major event, people will come. The problem is that it doesn’t show that there are enough people who would go on a weekly or multiple days a week basis.
- The second area is that most leagues as of now are based in Los Angeles or other centrally located cities. Both the OWL and League are based in LA and the NBA2k League is in New York City. This is great for the people who live there or who travel there as they can watch their teams play. Everyone else is sadly out of luck.
Fan bases for esports as a whole are growing substantially. According to Statista.com, there will be almost 400 million viewers by the end of 2018. This number will only increase as games like Fortnite, which are sweeping the world right now, are spreading to casual and non-gamers.
With the swath of viewers, there will be many who attach to certain players or teams based on their viewing experiences and what games they like. While this is great, many people often never have an event close enough to them to see their favorite team or player perform in person. Thus, they watch online.
With the new franchising leagues, esports are following traditional sports. Many people forget that traditional sports did not start off with teams magically appearing in cities around the world all of a sudden. Instead, a relatively small amount of teams traveled and hosted events at venues where large numbers of people could gather. This mirrors how esports have been the last few years. Now, esports are moving onto the next stage of development with franchising.
With teams representing areas and cities, people will more likely gravitate towards them as their team. Again following the traditional sports model, this will help fan bases grow, allowing people to become more attached to their teams.
As more and more people watch esports, they will be enticed to at least look at their hometown teams which should, in turn, build fans in those areas.
As one could probably tell when reading this, franchising is a game changer. Like the NFL, NBA, and MLB, esports like League of Legends, NBA2k, and Overwatch are following in their predecessors’ footsteps. They are paving the way for other esports to jump on franchising as it offers stability and money.
Stability and massive amounts of money have always been what has kept esports from being taken seriously. There were relegations at such an early start for esports like League of Legends. This kept people and groups from feeling comfortable in investing. With franchising eliminating relegations, we saw an instant interest to the tune of up to $20 million in investments for spots in these leagues.
This is a much cheaper price than trying to buy an NBA franchise. Getting in on the ground level of anything this big is always more exciting.
With the money and stability comes the desire to make more money. Building an arena can definitely help in this area. The investment towards the future will pay off as they will be able to grow the fan base even more due to people finally being able to watch their city’s team in person.
“If you build it, they will come.”
This quote from the movie Field of Dreams, while it is about the traditional sport of baseball, applies to esports quite well.
Between other events, the fan bases, and the stability brought about by franchising, the next logical step is to start building esports arenas in cities. While there are some newer ones, like in Las Vegas and Arlington, there are plenty of teams and companies working out ways to create even more.
With the leagues that are franchising, there are even some cities that will already have a need for new arenas to host the multiple teams that are in them. You can check them out here.
All of these leagues will continue to grow and more esports will be franchising. Call of Duty announced their intentions to franchise, but not much more has come out since. With that, more cities will get involved and the need for arenas will increase.
Keep an eye out, esports and their arenas will be coming to a city near you.
Featured image courtesy of: Populous.com
“From Our Haus to Yours”
Boston Uprising have released their head coach, Dae-hee “Crusty” Park. The team released their statement on their website and linked it via twitter. It appears this decision had already been made as Crusty will be joining the San Francisco Shock for stage four in just ten days.
Full Statement: Here
Possible reasons for release
The release statement is somewhat vague and says that ” it became apparent that a change was in the best interest of the team, as well as Crusty.” There is no telling what caused the departure for certain, However Rod “Slasher” Bresleau, eSports insider and games journalist. Pointed to some internal disputes among the Boston Uprising Organisation during stage two.
The Boston Uprising are currently going through internal turmoil between General Manager HuK, Head Coach Crusty, and in game leader Gamsu, with Crusty on the edge of being fired or leaving the team, sources said.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 9, 2018
Slasher pointed to Crusty wanting to move towards an all western roster as the reasoning for the turmoil. As of just now, there really is no definitive reason for the departure.
a fresh start
Crusty has joined the San Francisco Shock who finished 5th in stage three but 9th in the overall standings. The Shock have shown great improvement since the start of stage 3 as they can now play many of the players who were underage in the first two stages. The team has released their head coach, Brad Rajan to make room for Crusty. Full statement: Here
Crusty has shown the full extent of his coaching talent at Boston Uprising and with Shock in their current state of having the pieces but not quite hitting their potential. The move can only benefit both parties.
Follow me on twitter:@FraserAConnell
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.