You may wonder why someone who owns eight Bruins jerseys, loves drinking $10 bud lights in the bleachers at Fenway, and thinks NFL Sundays are the only religious observance that needs to be made would be into the Overwatch League. It may be surprising to hear that just like traditional sports, the Overwatch League offers the same thrilling competition, ego driven player personalities, talking heads with their absurd hot takes, and questionable head coaching decisions. I’ve seen underdogs win it big and favorites handsomely dominate so much that you question how some players made it into the league. Since you’re still reading let me give you a rapid fire list of reasons why you should give the Overwatch League a chance.
Anytime you have millions of dollars involved you will get the highest level of competition. Whether it’s Nathans hot dog eating contest or the Olympics, the cream rises when everything is on the line. That’s what makes those and other often obscure sports so exciting – you are seeing people who have trained their whole lives share their talent with the world. Put teams of them together and competition with one another and nothing short of fireworks will happen.
Play the game
Most sports fans have some connection to the games they watch. Maybe you played t-ball, pop warner, or rec league ball when you were younger. Be honest though – when’s the last time you really played? While it may have been awhile since you wrapped your hands around a controller, no matter what shape you’re in you can fire up a game of Overwatch and get into the same playing field the players use.
Look I’ll be real with you. What else are you watching in the dog days of summer? The season starts in mid February and goes till September. I love the Sox like everyone else, and the Fort is sneaky sneaky the funnest spot to catch a game in all of Boston sports, but why not change it up and catch an Uprising game? Also they only play one or two times a week between Thursday and Sunday.
The worst part of all sports are the blown calls and drawn out replays. From the vague definition of what is a catch in the NFL, to the invasion of instant replay into baseball, all sports are ruined by these bureaucratic impositions. In eSports there is NONE of this. Because it’s a game, there is no question of who healed who, how fast a payload moves, or the range of a D-Va bomb. The game takes care of it. This removes all excuse making when your team wins or loses, and keeps the action going without a whistle blow.
Football has gotten softer in recent times, defensive shifts are the norm in baseball, hockey is run more by skill than size, and the three pointer is more important than ever. These are changes to the meta of the sport and happen over long periods of time. In eSports, these changes happen multiple times a season. The Overwatch developers update the game between each stage, which always changes the way the game is played. Shifts in the meta makes the league more about which team can be most flexible and consistent rather than dominant in one particular way.
The narrative of head injuries, concussions, and CTE is so normalized in sports today as to nearly be cliche. Whether you think supporting the sports that lead to lifelong physical and mental trauma is problematic is between you and your god. Conversely, you can see explosions, death, gun violence, and dismemberment – and the players are fine! You are guilt free watching eSports.
These are just a few reasons I think eSports and the Overwatch League is worth a try. If you can get through the rules and the little idiosyncrasies, you’ll find an exciting sport just as engaging as all the other sports. So pick up a controller, pick your favorite hero, and I’ll see you out there by the payload.