It’s not a fair comparison, but from the day Overwatch was announced to the public fans have been making comparisons from dawn until dusk with Team Fortress 2. You can see the similarities — Payload and the design of the capture points being huge ones — but then again, how a game looks and how it plays are two separate things.
But while Blizzard is certainly doing their best to communicate the difference, that hasn’t stopped professional teams from jumping the gate early. If it looks like TF2 and smells like TF2, you might as well start poaching TF2 teams, right?
That’s the gist of what The Daily Dot is reporting today, with sources claiming that Tempo Storm, an organisation with a footing in Hearthstone and one of the most prominent Heroes of the Storm teams in North America, have been approaching the best TF2 teams in the region with a view to converting the veterans over to Overwatch.
The understanding amongst the teams and the wider eSports community is that Blizzard will invest heavily into Overwatch’s competitive scene. The first-person shooter is already primed for use in leagues and tournaments given its nature, even though developers working on the game have made a point not to use the word eSports whenever possible in interviews.
The Daily Dot also has other information about the terms of the deals offered to the TF2 teams, which is an indication of how large Tempo Storm, an organisation whose competitive livelihood is entirely linked to Blizzard, expects Overwatch to be.
But it’s also a harbinger of what might happen in Australia. Australia has historically had an affinity for first-person shooters, and the free-to-play nature of TF2, it’s support for LAN servers, performance on lower-end systems and extensive offering of content has ensured the game has retained a devoted community in Australia.
The continued success and growth of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive means it’s unlikely that many CS:GO players will make the switch to Overwatch, although it’s highly likely that those with a background in TF2, such as Team Immunity, will try their hand at Blizzard’s new shooter. There has also been a surprising amount of interest in Dirty Bomb amongst Quake veterans down under, and it wouldn’t be that staggering to see some of those players try their hand at Overwatch as well once local servers are made available here.
The first wave of invites for Overwatch will go out tomorrow, although you’ll probably have to wait one or two weeks before those invites start going to regular members of the public.