Tagged With overwatch league

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As sports video games have shown us, sports are just games with off-the-court metagame layers attached. Also pageantry and juicy, juicy drama. Overwatch League follows this formula, making it ripe for a game in the most thrilling sports-adjacent genre of all: Dating simulator. Wait, I mean management.

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Blizzard has confirmed eight new Overwatch teams for the Overwatch League’s second season. The teams will represent Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and three Chinese cities: Hangzhou, Chengdu and Guangzhou. An official start date for the second season has not been announced.

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The primary ingredients for a great Overwatch moment are a) a hotly contested match and b) a cheeky strategy the other team doesn’t see coming. During the fourth game of yesterday’s Overwatch World Cup match between South Korea and Finland, both these things happened. Then the game crashed.

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Despite his penchant for crashing into the thick of things and leaving craters in his wake, Wrecking Ball has yet to make a huge impact on Overwatch's meta. Then again, he only just got added to the game. Last night, though, the hamster hero showed squeaky inklings of his potential in two Overwatch Contenders playoff matches.

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The first-ever winner of the Overwatch League season playoffs is the London Spitfire. After a rocky season spent wobbling between commanding victories and unexpected defeats, the Spitfire earned a $US1,000,000 ($1,351,542) prize, as well as a silver gauntlet in the style of publisher Blizzard's sword-and-sorcery roots. Their underdog opponents, the crowd-favourite Philadelphia Fusion, retreated with the number two title and what looked like a whole lot of heartache.

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Yesterday morning, something went terribly wrong with Overwatch’s best team. It became apparent early on in a match, when Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim, New York Excelsior’s unstoppable, sawed-off shotgun, switched off the sniper hero who made him famous and onto Doomfist, a character notorious for being high-risk but high-reward. This time, there was no reward.

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NYXL support player Sung-hyeon “JJonak” Bang is a monster. He came out of nowhere during Overwatch League’s inaugural season and single-handedly redefined the way people perceive peace-loving robo-monk Zenyatta, transforming him into a lightning-handed murder machine.

The league has just awarded him as its first-ever “MVP,” but what’s weird is, we haven’t seen him play as much as many other players.

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Every day is Christmas at the Philadelphia Fusion esports mansion. The team's marketing and content director Hung Tran gestured to the towering decorated pine tree to the right of the front door by way of explaining the joke: The pro gamers who live here get whatever they want and do whatever they want. But Christmas wouldn't seem as exciting if it happened every day.

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It didn't make any sense. "What are they doing, dude?" asked Houston Outlaws tank Austin "Muma" Wilmot as the other team, made up of top-ranked players including LA Gladiators tank Chan-hyung "Fissure" Baek, repeatedly crashed against the holo-shield walls of a relatively lackadaisical defence. Then it hit him: Where'd the payload go?

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The first 12 team slots in the Overwatch League cost, reportedly, $US20 ($27) million each. This was mostly because at least a dozen rich people were willing to give that much money to Blizzard, but was also at least in part to avoid situations like the ongoing disgrace that is the Miami Marlins, where a cash-poor owner leveraged his way into control of a franchise and then refused to properly invest in it.