Tagged With overwatch league

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One of the original appeals of the Overwatch League’s formula was the idea of teams travelling around the world to play in each others’ home cities, surrounded by whooping, hollering, body-paint-covered hometown crowds.

But that didn’t happen during season one, and reports afterward alleged that it wouldn’t be a thing until at least 2020. Now, OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer has said road games are coming to season two after all.

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There’s taking your ball and going home, and then there’s whatever Toronto Esports just did. After a few days of unusual tweets from the organisation’s president and founder, including an unanswered challenge issued to Overwatch League’s new Toronto team, Toronto Esports suddenly dropped out of Overwatch’s minor league, Contenders, over a naming dispute.

In a further statement to Kotaku, Toronto Esports’ president cited issues with “the recent changes to the Contenders rules,” which supposedly go “against our core company values.”

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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.