The inaugural season of the Overwatch League comes to a close this weekend. It’s been a long, winding, and at times downright weird road to the finals which now see two underdog teams face off for cash and glory.
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Overwatch's Mercy is a "support" hero, which in layman's terms means she's mopping up trails of blood left behind after Overwatch battles. Mercy's job is to heal her weak teammates, assisting them as they lay waste to enemies. It's an apparently subservient job often painted as easy, and therefore, undervalued - that is, unless you're Hong "Ark" Yeon-joon, arguably the best Mercy player in the world. And if you ask him, the best Mercy players are no one's helpers.
The Overwatch League's leaked code of conduct gives Blizzard and the OWL an incredible amount of control over players, including anything that happens on their own streams, so part of the latest punishment for a heated gaming moment comes as no surprise. After the Philadelphia Fusion's Josh "Eqo" Corona made a slant-eye gesture and said "I am Korean" on a recent stream, the team announced his punishment today.
The Houston Outlaws extended their 16-map unbeaten streak to 18 before the San Francisco Shock finally snapped it in the third map, but that was just a blip en route to a fifth straight match win. Their 3-1 win moved them to 5-2 on the season and could give them a chance to move into first place if they beat the Seoul Dynasty on Saturday.
"RIP Mercy," Overwatch players mumbled after the game's main healer suffered a big nerf on Tuesday. It was a long-coming but controversial change that made the game's essential hero no longer so. It also sent a firm message to Overwatch's players -- one that the recently-launched Overwatch League is hammering in with each pro match: No hero is indespensible anymore. You're free!
An exclusive broadcasting deal between ESL, one of the largest esports organisations in the world, and Facebook, a malignant social media tumour too insinuated into daily life to safely remove, has shown the shortcomings of gaming company Valve's hands-off approach after the first major Dota 2 tournament subject to the deal become a spectating nightmare.
The Overwatch League is gearing up for its inaugural season in 2018. All of the 12 teams competing in the new esports league have been announced, backed by familiar sports names like Patriots owner Bob Kraft and Mets owner Jeff Wilpon. Some of these names are fun and good; others less so. Here they are, ranked from best to worst.