The crew's personal highlights of 2016! - Group Editorial
The year 2016 has come and gone (or will soon go). As the first official year of Overwatch, the crew shares their personal highlights.
2016 has been called many things, and over the past few months these things have become more and more negative. The world has certainly lost a good bunch of musicians and other celebrities, but in return we have gained a lot of heroes. Overwatch has over 200 million players, which is very impressive for a 7-month-old game! So much has happened this year, which we tried to cover in our GosuAwards, but the crew also felt the need to share their personal, subjective highlights:
After you are part of the gaming community for a while, you will see patterns in game (and community) development. A lot of the things that happened this year could easily have been predicted, such as the release of new content, ever improving and bigger tournaments, ‘worst metas yet’, roster changes etc.
So my personal highlights are moments i did not see coming (at least in its entirety). To start, the way the Overwatch League will supposedly work: localized teams and a combine, similar to traditional sports. This approach will attract a lot of new fans, who will soon be able to cheer for their favorite city in another way. The eSports teams know how to pace their plans, and because of it I have complete trust in them being able to pull of a decent first season which will lead to amazing seasons down the road.
The second thing I did not see coming, and couldn't hope to dream about, was the addition of seasonal events to Overwatch. The quality, scale and frequency of them have amazed me to no end, and adding seasonal events such as the Winter Wonderland and Dr. Junkenstein’s Revenge will keep the community confident of the fact that the developers love the game and its players, and are always working hard to improve the experience (even if we do encounter periods without new heroes/maps).
My personal highlight was casting the ESL Go4 Overwatch weeklies with Raptorz. It’s actually kind of crazy how much the scene has grown the few months since the release. It was not only my first real casting opportunity, but my first real view into the workings behind the competitive scene.
Every Sunday for a month, I’d sit in a Discord with Raptorz doing analysis over the EU side of the Go4OW tournament. It was really eye opening seeing the number of developing teams in the region looking for their next opportunity. In a way, these tournaments actually ended up being the big break for a lot of people. Raptorz is currently coaching compLexity Gaming; up and coming players who consistently placed well in the weeklies were picked up by larger organizations; and even I got some experience working on my casting. As someone who just started covering esports this year, I’d say from a growth perspective this was probably the most impactful highlight of my year. Looking forward to what 2017 brings!
DreamHack Winter was the perfect culmination to my first year of Overwatch, and essentially my first year of casting. Nearly a year to the date after our first GosuGamers weekly, in which we handed out a prize of $120 dollars to a team called Hubris, I found myself on a desk and casting with amazingly talented people who I had come to admire. My first live event really showed me all the hard work, and all the people behind the scenes that make these things happen, the true beating heart of eSports is generally off camera. The gameplay was great, and I saw some things in Overwatch which I had never seen before, but what I will always remember about DHW is the forlorn feeling I had leaving; it was like summercamp, I felt sad I had to leave all the new friends I just made. I could not have asked for a better experience, from the people at DreamHack who made me feel welcome, to the amazing talent who supported me and made me feel comfortable on the desk. DreamHack was always my favorite event as an eSports spectator, and was my favorite event to be a part of.
My personal highlight of the year is watching the Overwatch World Cup in general.
There are a few reasons: for one, the voting the teams together made for some real interesting team comps, with some pros being paired up with streamers and even some rival teams coming together under their country’s banner. The World Cup also allowed us to see some underdog stories that no one really expected (here’s looking at you, Thailand). We also saw some top-notch gameplay and teamwork that we likely wouldn’t have seen outside of these fan-created teams.
Mainly, though, we got to see a few more heroes being played. Mei was a highlight in a lot of maps, and not just point one on King’s Row. We even saw a Symmetra teamed up with a Torbjorn and a Junkrat and it actually paid off. I doubt we would have seen that work anywhere else. Of course, I would be an idiot if I didn’t mention the infamous Zarya ult from South Korea as being one of those plays that you couldn’t find in any other tournament thus far.
All in all, there were a lot of fun, inventive plays that came out of the Overwatch World Cup that made it almost too much fun to watch. I’m looking forward to what the Overwatch World Cup 2017 has to offer.
I’m gonna cheat a little with this one. I’m not gonna choose one single event. Instead, I will remember the entire timeline of things Overwatch related. That includes everything from the beginning of the year, where Overwatch went into its second beta phase, to the very last day of the year.
Overwatch is still new, compared to other big esports. But it has had great moments throughout the year and I get all warm inside when I think of the big progress the game, and the community, has made since its first days. Not only did Overwatch draw a big and broad crowd, its passionate community and developers have been so very active since the beginning. We’ve also seen fun tournaments (none mentioned, none forgotten) and many organizers showing interest in the game. We’ve seen personalities emerge, players retire, heaps of great fan art, cosplay, constructive criticism, flaming, memes and everything that in the end makes Overwatch such a great game to be a part of.
My highlight of the year is a little bit cheesy. I honestly just like the game, the developers and the people who play the game. Sure, you’re going to get the angry, overly-competitive players, but that comes with any competitive game. Overwatch is fast-paced and fun and a whole different level from other competitive games I have played over the years. The developers care about the game, not how much money can be pulled from the gamers. They want to create characters and maps, test them and give them to the players. The community is great as well. I have made more friends and second families playing this game. Most players want to give help and advice on characters they play more often than maybe a newbie does. And the community just keeps growing, making way for new faces and challengers.
My second cheesy highlight is the fact that Overwatch helped me achieve what I wanted in life. I knew that I wanted to write, but I could not pinpoint what I wanted to cover. News was boring and depressing, fashion is not my style (I like it from afar and that’s where it should stay), and physical sports mean nothing to me. But watching esports, Overwatch or otherwise, gave me a rush. I’m glad to say that, though I’m newer to the esports community, I am proud to be a part of it and excited to see what comes of this great game and community throughout the new year.
That's it from us for the year, but we will be back bigger and better next year, growing alongside the game itself. Please share your personal highlights with us in the comments and until next year!
For more competitive Overwatch news, follow us @GosuOverwatch.
Did Overwatch provide personal highlights for you in 2016?
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