Overwatch League Breaks Down its 2019 Season Structure

The premier Overwatch esports event is looming on the horizon and things are lining up. A recent post has offered firm details on the Overwatch League 2019 season structure works, including format and changes to the stage finals and post-season.

overwatch league 2019 season

2019’s season will play out over 28 matches across four five-week stages for a total of seven matches per stage. In order to mitigate player fatigue, a flexible schedule will see teams playing no more than two matches a week and possibly playing no matches a week.

Each stage final at the end of stages 1-3 will have the top eight teams face off in a new bracketed tournament format. The all-star break is also shifting its schedule to land in-between stages 2 and 3.

Finally, the post-season will change with a new playoffs play-in at the end of stage 4. Like before, the champions of each of the league’s two divisions and the top four teams in the standings will automatically make it to the playoffs, but the final two spots will be determined with a special “win or go home” tournament for those teams that land in seventh through twelfth place.

Our Thoughts

That…is a whole lot of gaming, which means that the flexible schedule being touted in these plans will be more important than ever considering the amount of bracketed playoffs being played over the course of 2019. Then again, it is a much bigger league this time around. In any case, we’re looking forward to more details.

Source: official site

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Overwatch League Expands to 20 Teams for 2019 Season

The axiom goes “less is more”, but sometimes more is just more. In the case of Overwatch‘s premiere esports event, that definitely is the case as another six teams will be added to the 2019 Overwatch League season, which have been announced just today.

2019 overwatch league season

The announcement officially announces the six new team locations, which have joined up alongside the two earlier team additions and exceeding the League’s projected six expansion slots.

The six new teams hail from all around the globe – specifically Chengdu, Hangzhou, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. Ownership of these teams runs the gamut from the family group that owns the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team to the company behind Chinese livestreaming platform Huya.

For now, all we’ve got in terms of teams specifics are their locations and ownership; team names and rosters will be announced at a later date, particularly since new signings and existing roster adjustments are still ongoing.

Our Thoughts

Man that is a beefy roster, which should make for a similarly beefy 2019 season of the Overwatch League. As before, we’re looking forward to seeing this extremely watchable esports event kick off and hope that the new teams and schedule will be competitive and entertaining.

Source: official site

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Overwatch League Announces Two New Teams

The Overwatch League’s desire to grow for its next season appears to be getting realized in very short order. Two new Overwatch League teams have been announced by the esports event, broadening both the league’s roster and reach around the globe.

new overwatch league teams

The two teams are based in Guangzhou, China and Atlanta, GA. The new Chinese squad is formed by Nenking Group, a Chinese conglomerate which also owns the Chinese Long Lions team of the Chinese Basketball Association; while the Atlanta, GA squad is owned by Cox Enterprises, a media conglomerate which we’ve detailed previously.

The names and rosters of these two new teams were not announced, however the press release does mention that information will come soon and that more new team announcements as well as the 2019 season schedule are due to be released at a later date, which hints that more slot expansions are on the way.

As far as the game of Overwatch itself is concerned, the official Twitter account recently announced that the Summer Games will be making their return. Specifics on just what’s arriving this year were not detailed, but the image does indicate that Lucioball will be back once again and that the event will go live on August 9th.

Our Thoughts

Wow, the Overwatch League seems to be growing in record speed…which, considering the overall growth of esports in general, is certainly saying something. We’re looking forward to hearing about more on both the esports front and, of course, the Summer Games front.

Sources: press release, Twitter

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Overwatch League Expansion Slot in Atlanta Purchased

The esports scene of Overwatch is already pretty sizeable thanks to the Overwatch League, but news of a new Overwatch League expansion slot being purchased shortly after the inaugural Grand Finals could indicate that the event’s next season will be even bigger.

overwatch league expansion slot

The new Atlanta slot was purchased by a group funded by Georgia-based conglomerate Cox Enterprises, who most people know as providers of cable television and internet services across several parts of the US. The conglomerate also owns various newspapers, TV and radio stations as part of Cox Media Group.

While the price of the expansion slot bought for Atlanta wasn’t fully disclosed, inside sources have said that expansion slots for the league can run between $30 million to $60 million. These figures depend on a number of factors such as number of bidders, Overwatch player density and a city’s general population. For comparison’s sake, Overwatch League slots cost $20 million in the event’s opening season.

In spite of these high sticker prices, this new Atlanta expansion could be the first of several for Season 2. Blizzard esports CEO Pete Vlastelica has told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the Overwatch League is hoping to add six new franchises across North America, Asia/Oceana and Europe for next season.

As far as the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, the London Spitfire have captured the first trophy in this past weekend’s Grand Finals, rising up to snare a 3-1 win in day 1 of the event and pushing through to a 3-0 clean sweep in day 2 over the Philadelphia Fusion.

Our Thoughts

We’re all for seeing the Overwatch League expand, especially if that means we get to see more local talent from both the existing teams as well as the new ones that form up. Regardless of who joins which squad, however, we thoroughly enjoyed the leauge’s opening season and are excited for more.

Source: ESPN

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Overwatch League Inaugural Playoffs to Air on ESPN and Disney XD

In what’s likely going to be a significant step forward for esports legitimacy, the Overwatch League inaugural playoffs are going to arrive to mainstream television as part of a multi-year deal signed by Blizzard Entertainment and the two networks.

overwatch league inaugural playoffs

The agreement will see the Overwatch League’s first playoff seasons broadcast starting today, July 11th on ESPN’s family of networks, Disney XD, and the ESPN and DisneyNOW streaming apps. Coverage will run all the way through to the Grand Finals of the event, which are scheduled for July 27th at 7pm EDT.

A re-air of the Grand Finals is also scheduled to run on ESPN2 at 9pm EDT that same day, with a recap show highlighting some of the biggest plays from the Grand Finals is set to air on July 29th at 3pm EDT on ABC.

“The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an e-sports event over a single weekend,” said Disney and ESPN Media executive VP Justin Connolly in a statement. “This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to esports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”

The very first match of the Overwatch League playoffs will kick off at 8pm EDT with the Boston Uprising taking on Philadelphia Fusion in a best of five series.

Our Thoughts

Well of course one of the most popular shooters and its related esports event is growing further. We can’t say we’re super surprised, but we will say that we’re excited to see the Overwatch League expanding in such a way in its very first year.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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MMO Money: Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

Quarterly report season, it’s exciting and a little bit brain melting. In between it all we’ve got other business news to talk about too including esports betting and more lootbox drama. We also get a real-world example of what can happen to a company’s stock when an embargo is broken and false information is released. There’s one theme that runs throughout this article, mobile revenue is breaking records all over the place. There’s a lot of information to digest in this week’s MMO Money so grab a drink, maybe a snack too and sit back for a wild ride. It all ends with more lootbox talk from Begium, Guild Wars 2’s game director, and everyone’s favorite…EA.

 

PUBG Mobile Revenue Only 1/3 Fornite iOS Revenue

Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

While PUBG mobile and Fortnite iOS came onto the scene at roughly the same time back in March, PUBG has only started to monetize in the last week. The revenue for that first week isn’t amazing. In fact, it’s one third the revenue Fortnite got in its first week being on iOS only. For those who don’t know, PUBG is available on both Android and iOS. Fortnite generated 3.7 million dollars its first week on mobile compared to PUBG which comes in around $1 million.

The report from Sensor Tower also states that Fortnite beat out PUBG with fewer players, 3.7 million downloads vs 22 million. But it doesn’t show how many of those 22 million downloads since launch are still active PUBG players, so this isn’t really a fair comparison to make. The 3.7 million Fortnite players would have all been active at some point in that week simply because it was the very first week, and not a couple of months later. Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower attributes the differences to the means of monetization. “There’s also the possibility that the way Epic Games has structured its purchases may be giving Fortnite a leg up on its biggest competitor,” he said. “It offers limited-time costumes and set daily items that players can purchase outright, as opposed PUBG Mobile’s primary use of loot boxes that produce random (and often duplicate) items when opened by players.”

 

Activision-Blizzard Q1

They’re winning all of the money. End of story.

Overwatch Retribution Event - McCree and Reaper

Kidding…well sort of. They really are winning all the money. Activision-Blizzard had a net revenue of $1.97 billion for Q1, that’s up from $1.73 billion for Q1 2017. Net revenue from digital channels were at an all-time quarterly record of $1.46 billion. In Q1, Activision Blizzard had 374 million monthly active users, 38 million of those coming from Blizzard games. Preorders for WoW’s Battle for Azeroth expansion are ahead of where they had originally forecast.

The Overwatch League has strong viewership globally, reaching millions of people every week. As a result of the league and the upcoming playoffs, this summer there is increased engagement with the franchise. This means more people are playing and watching for longer than previously.

On the mobile side of things, King has had its highest quarterly net bookings in history. That’s money made from merchandising, products sold, licensing fees, and so on. This quarter King also had 2 of the top 10 highest-grossing titles in US mobile app stores for the 18th quarter in a row.

Generally speaking, things are great for Activision-Blizzard, so much so that they’re raising their outlook for the full year.

 

German Mobile Game Revenue Seeing Explosive Growth

Thanks to the many articles we’ve done covering the 2017 games business scene we know that mobile is still growing in a massive way and is already really dominating the gaming industry. But there’s one market in particular that is seeing massive, unexpected growth: Germany.

The German Games Industry Association reported on data from market research company GfK that in 2017, mobile gaming revenue grew faster than all of the German gaming market. Mobile gaming sales rose 21% versus the overall market which saw only 15%. Most of the revenue came from in-app purchases which totaled €481 million ($569 million). Just to put all of this in perspective, in-app purchases have more than doubled since 2014. It also doesn’t look like things are going to slow down any time soon. What this does show is that Germans are a fantastic audience for mobile games, unlike most of Europe who seem to prefer to keep a tight hold on their wallets.

 

Want to learn more about the games industry in 2017 check out these articles:

2017 Online Games Financial Review
2017 Games Industry by the Numbers
2017 Games Industry Revenue

EA Celebrating Record Year

It’s good news for EA, despite all the very public lockbox drama they had throughout the last year. Game sales are actually down, but live services are picking up the slack and now make up 40% of the publisher’s income. For the full year, EA’s net revenue was up 6.2% to $5.15 billion. But the news that most people were really hoping to hear was about Anthem and EA did not disappoint, saying that Anthem is set to ship in the last month of the last quarter of the year, that gives it a launch date in March 2019. During the call, they also talked a bit about lockboxes, but we’ll go into more detail on that in the section dedicated to all things lootbox.

 

Dow Jones Reporting Problem

Dow Jones News Service broke embargo and false information was released ahead of Activision-Blizzard’s quarterly report call. This information caused Activision-Blizzard’s stock to tumble, as well as stock for EA and Take-Two. Activision-Blizzard suffered a 6.3% drop, but within a couple of hours the correct information was published and in the end, Activision-Blizzard closed down 2.3%. Afterward, Dow Jones issued a statement saying, “We regret our error as well as inadvertently breaking the embargo. We have issued a correction and are reviewing our processes.”

 

Tencent Q1

Have you had enough with all the good news yet? Well here’s some more for you. Tencent is reporting a 48% increase in revenue year on year. Most of this has been driven by mobile games and social platforms. Total revenue for the quarter was $11.69 billion with operating profit at $4.88 billion. Smartphone game revenue increased 68%. This includes both mobile games and social games on their social media platforms like QQ, which has 805.5 million active users. Facebook is at 2.2 billion, just in case you’re wondering.

On the PC gaming front, revenue remained fairly flat year on year. But with new titles expected in the coming months, Tencent has said this will change. The company also attributes the lack of significant revenue increase on more and more people making the transition to mobile gaming. Tencent is going to be responsible for releasing PUBG and Fortnite to China, assuming they get government approval. They’re also going to publish Ubisoft mobile and PC games in China. So, the future is looking bright for this monster of a company.

 

Boss Key Saga

By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the saga of Boss Key. The company shut down this week just a month after putting a new game up on Steam Early Access. If you haven’t heard all of the drama, or you haven’t seen the concept art from the games they never got to make there’s an entire article on the Boss Key saga.

 

Pearl Abyss Q1

Pearl Abyss had a record first quarter thanks to mobile games. Are you starting to see the same pattern we are? Net profits are up a massive 82.9% compared with the same period last year. Much of their success is thanks to releasing Black Desert Mobile in Korea. North America and Europe account for 56% of Black Desert Online’s game sales. Coming up, the company is working on MMOFPS Project K, casual mobile MMO Project V, and Black Desert Mobile is going to expand to more regions of the world. You can expect it to reach the West sometime next year.

 

Kakao IPO

Black Desert Online

Speaking of Black Desert Online’s performance, we need to talk about Kakao Games, the publisher of BDO in the west. They’re preparing an IPO on the KOSDAQ in Korea. If it passes the screening required, it will most likely go public by the end of this year. According to Samsung Securities, Kakao is worth an estimated $1.4 billion. In addition to BDO, they’re also responsible for publishing PUBG in Korea and developing mobile games.

 

NCSoft Q1

All of NCSoft’s games are down this quarter with the exception of Aion. Guild Wars 2, the company’s most popular game in the west saw a massive, though entirely expected drop. Q4 2017 is where all the revenue for the game’s last expansion Path of Fire was at, so while there was a 32% drop quarter on quarter, year on year there was actually a 66% increase.

During the investor call, NCSoft admitted that Blade & Soul II for mobile has been delayed until 2019 because it didn’t meet expectations. It has a new team and a redesign which is the same thing they did for Lineage Eternal.

 

Nexon Q1

Finally, we’re at the last quarterly report that has been released as of this moment, Nexon. Much like many of the companies already mentioned in this article, Nexon has a strong showing this quarter with $827 million in revenue. That’s up 21% year on year. One thing that really makes them stand out from other companies is that most of its business, 84% of it in fact, was on PC. The vast majority of Nexon’s earnings came from China (67%) and Korea (22%) while North America accounted for just 4%. Later on this year in the west we can expect to see Durango, Maplestory 2, Maplestory M, and Final Fantasy XI mobile.

 

Esports

You can expect to see esports betting blossom thanks to a ruling by the US Supreme Court. They effectively overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which banned sports betting in all but a few states. The Supreme Court ruled that PAPSA violated the Tenth Amendment. What does this mean for esports betting? It means we’re going to see it a whole lot more. DraftKings have already got plans to move into betting for sports and esports.

In other esports news Quarterback Inc. has raised 2.5 million dollars in its initial seed funding round. The funding will go towards continued development and growth of Quarterback’s esports gaming platform. The seed round was back by Bitkraft Esports, Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, and UpWest Labs.

 

Lootboxes

Finally, we end this article as we always do with a look at what has been going on around the lootbox controversy in the last two weeks. The biggest news has been that the Belgian Gaming Commission released their full report on the controversy. The report itself is 25 pages long and in English, if you want to give it a read, but the most important thing to take from it is that they recommend criminal prosecution being initiated. Another recommendation that they give is age verification and banning the sale of games featuring loot boxes to minors. Wow.

Gamasutra posted an interview with Guild Wars 2 game director Crystin Cox from GDC that touched on the lootbox controversy that is well worth a read as she had a lot to say. She had a hard time defining what an ethical, non-painful lootbox experience might be like and she also said she hopes the government doesn’t get involved in regulation. Guild Wars 2 was specifically mentioned in a recent article here on MMOGames talking about a site that explains microtransactions for games. Guild Wars 2 has frequently been called out by players for their lootbox practices.

Lastly, as promised there is EA news to talk about. EA is adamant that lootboxes aren’t gambling at all. Why? Well, according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, it’s because players always get a specified number of items and there’s no way to cash the items out or sell them for currency, real or virtual. This argument is a bit like Santa promising you’ll get 5 things for Christmas and on Christmas morning finding out that 3 of them are lumps of coal, one is a gum wrapper, and the other is reindeer droppings. You still got something though!

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Activision Blizzard’s Record High In Q1 2018 Financials

‘Tis financial season and Activision Blizzard had a big one, widely driven by World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush. Reporting $2 billion in Q1 revenue and 374 million active users across all games, this is a record high for Activision Blizzard in the first quarter of the financial year.

Activision Blizzard's Record High In Q1 2018 Financials

More specifically, Activision made up $92 million of the company’s operating income, mainly on the strength of Call of Duty. Blizzard made up $122 million of the operating income driven by “in-game content” through all of their games, strong Battle for Azeroth pre-sales which are ahead of plans and likely driven by unlockable Allied Races in World of Warcraft, as well as the Overwatch League which has seen huge success this year with “strong and consistent” viewership every week. King then made up $191 million of the operating income, with Candy Crush particularly “reaching its highest net booking since Q4 2013.”

Battle Royale Likely Coming to Activision Blizzard Titles

During the earnings call, Activision Blizzard were asked about what they had learned from Fortnite and PUBG‘s success, to which Activision COO Coddy Johnson commended the battle royale genre’s “compelling survivor mechanics and large, in-game player pools” and how they have “brought tens of millions of completely new players into gaming both on traditional platforms like console and PC, but also on newer platforms for the genre like mobile.” CFO Spencer Neumann commented that the battle royale genre is “contributing to the innovation and expansion we’re seeing in the industry”, while CEO Bobby Kotick added, “When we see people innovate in an interesting and impactful way, we are very quick to figure out how to capture inspiration from innovation. When we see things that appeal to our audiences, we are very good at being inspired by those.”

We already know that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will come with a battle royale mode, but could there be more inspiration taken from this area within Activision’s vast library?

Destiny 2 Looking Glum But New Content Talked About

There was no denying from Activision Blizzard’s Q1 report or the earnings call that Destiny 2 has not reached the level of success expected of it. Johnson offered a view of where they plan to take the game in the future; “The three things we know we’re going to do and that the community is looking for is: make the player more powerful, provide rewards, and make the endgame more meaningful.”

Activision Blizzard's Record High

Overall, Activision wouldn’t reveal any definitive details on the current status of Destiny 2’s player numbers or profit margins, which doesn’t sound all too promising. However, that may be due to change with Warmind’s release next week, also Johnson did make sure to tease a fall expansion bringing many gameplay innovations including one game mode that “introduces a whole new style of play for first-person shooter gaming generally and certainly for the shooter space that Destiny created.” While we don’t have any concrete details on this game mode or the fall expansion for Destiny 2 itself just yet, we get expect to hear more on this during next month’s E3.

 

Our Thoughts

There’s always a lot to take in following this quarterly financial reports, but it seems fairly clear what Activision Blizzard’s record high in this first quarter means for their games. World of Warcraft is recovering nicely with promising sales for Battle for Azeroth, the Overwatch League has been a resounding success, people still spend too much on mobile games, battle royale continues to soar whether we like it or not, and Destiny 2 has some serious work to do if it wants to pull itself back to where it should have been from the beginning. Here’s hoping.

Source: Activision Blizzard Q1 2018 Presentation, GamesIndustry, VG247

 

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Blizzard Alludes to Expanded Mobile Development for its IPs
World of Warcraft Offers Details on Battle for Azeroth’s War Mode
WoW Wednesday: Things To Do Before Battle for Azeroth Launches
Battle for Azeroth at PAX East 2018

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Overwatch League’s Dallas Fuel Cuts Félix “xQc” Lengyel

After punishments including fines and restrictions from competition as a result of his inability to control his mouth/fingers/brain, the Dallas Fuel Overwatch League squad has decided to cut their losses and release tank player Félix “xQc” Lengyel.

xqc

Lengyel’s latest punishment was passed down by the League on Friday, March 9th to the tune of $4,000 along with a suspension of four games starting today, March 12th for “[using] an emote in a racially disparaging manner on the league’s stream and on social media, and [using] disparaging language against Overwatch League casters and fellow players on social media and on his personal stream.”

Shortly afterwards, the Dallas Fuel announced that Lengyel would be released from the team under what the announcement called a mutual agreement. “No one wants to see Félix succeed more than we do, and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him,” said Dallas Fuel Mike Rufail. “I want to thank him for his time and the passion he brought to the Dallas Fuel.”

The emote in question is the global TriHard emote on Twitch, which on its own is innocent enough but has been appropriated by racists because people can be disgusting. Said emote was spammed in chat when Overwatch League host Malik Forte was on screen by Lengyel and others, which led to the League’s action against him.

Forte offered his own input regarding the emote and xQc in a Twitter thread, which says in part that he was not on a campaign to ruin xQc’s career and that waiting for three years before initially mentioning the emote’s use was “pretty damn generous”.

“When you make a mistake like this, it’s best to just take accountability and be quiet. He apparently didn’t know that the TriHard spam was used in such an insensitive manner, but kept trying to defend it as ‘his salute’.

“So I feel it would have been more respectful if he would have just looked into the situation a little more before going on his rants. His followers ate all that mess up. But I don’t think xqc is a racist. I don’t believe he was attacking me. He made a mistake.”

Our Thoughts

Of all the stories that should be coming out of the Overwatch League, it’s a damned shame that this is the one that floated upwards like…well, like a floater in a toilet. And like that floater, we salute the Dallas Fuel’s decision to flush it.

Of course, whether this is a matter of Twitch culture, esports culture, or Overwatch’s own problems with toxicity – or perhaps even a combination of all three – is still up for debate. Regardless, esports professionals need to bear what “professional” actually means. Especially in terms of conduct associated with one of gaming’s biggest FPS titles.

Sources: Overatch League official site, Dallas Fuel official site, PCGamer, Twitter

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Overwatch League Lets Twitch Viewers Earn Overwatch Game Rewards

For those who are superfans of both Overwatch and the Overwatch League, things are about to get a lot more rewarding. As part of the partnership between the league and Twitch, new features are arriving with the start of Stage 2, including Overwatch League Cheering and the ability to earn in-game currency.

overwatch league cheering

Overwatch League Cheering will grant fans on Twitch who cheer their favorite team with Bits unique Overwatch rewards such as skins, exclusive Twitch emotes, and team-themed items. There will also be a Cheer leaderboard that tracks the top Cheerers for those who need to know that sort of thing.

If you’d rather not spend money on Bits for the purposes of Cheering, you can still get rewarded. By linking your Battle.net account to either Twitch, MLG.com or OverwatchLeague.com, fans can earn one League Token per live map finish, while a small percentage of fans will be randomly granted 100 League Tokens at the end of the final map – just enough to snap up one team skin from the Overwatch in-game store.

These are just the start of features due to arrive to Overwatch League fans. A VIP ticket is in the works that will grant more in-game items, access to exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, and more perks yet to be announced. More information about these benefits can be read at this site.

Our Thoughts

This is certainly a good way to make existing Overwatch fans feel more connected to the game and the event overall, but esports growth would be better served if it did more to make itself accessible to the more casual fan of a game or even the curious but otherwise ignorant outside observer. That said, this new reward system is most definitely intriguing.

Source: press release

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Play of the Fortnight: Hanzo Rework Incoming
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London Spitfire Tops Overwatch League Stage One

We have a winner of the Overwatch League Stage One! Which, of course, doesn’t mean the event is over. Still, a $100k cash prize and the bragging rights that go along with beating the top team of the league heading into Stage Two is nothing to sneeze at, with the London Spitfire beating out the red-hot New York Excelsior in Saturday’s battle.

overwatch league stage one

After taking down the second-seeded Houston Outlaws in a 3-1 win of their best of five set, the third place London Spitfire squared off against the first place New York Excelsior. It looked dire for the Spitfire as NYXL took the start of the series 2-0. After the half, the London squad rallied back in a reverse sweep win against NYXL 3-2, netting themselves $100k in prize money.

The London Spitfire capped off a marathon series of matches, with the team taking on NYXL earlier that night in regular stage play that saw them lose 3-2. Combined with that game, the playoff game, and the Stage final, London racked up the hours and the fatigue according to tank player Jae-Hui “Gesture” Hong.

“We were all very exhausted and tired, and that’s why we weren’t able to perform that well, and dropped the first two maps,” said Hong. “After losing the first two maps, we thought, ‘Hey, we can’t let it end like this.’ So we rallied back and won a game. After that, we were like, ‘Hey, it’s 2-1, might as well.’ So we made it 2-2. So then we said, ‘It’s too close to let go, so we have to win.’ And we ended up winning.”

The final day of Stage One took a total of 11 hours to contest, as every match in regular play went to a tiebreaking fifth map and the playoff and stage games were already set to BO5. If you think that sounds like it’s way too long, league commissioner Nate Nanzer agrees. According to a tweet from Nanzer, the league will be looking at making Stage Finals play out on Sunday starting with Stage Two, with additional schedule changes to come.

Until then, everyone in the Overwatch League gets a week-long break before the second stage of competition kicks off on Wednesday, February 21st.

Our Thoughts

First off, congratulations to the London Spitfire for weathering the storms of the day and taking the top prize in Stage One. Second, 11 hours is a LONG DAMN TIME, and as much as we enjoy the Overwatch League, we’d much rather have everyone well-rested and ready to fight at their best instead of drawing things out for that long.

Sources: press release, official site

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