5 Ways Blizzard Could Improve Overwatch Esports Scene

Overwatch has been the poster child of Blizzard’s competitive Esports scene since the release of the official Overwatch League. Although they did get a lot of things right with the game’s performance, there are still many things that could be improved.

No game is perfect, but when a game gets a massive following like Overwatch players begin to notice things that could be improved. This list comes from the community forums on Overwatch’s official website and the Reddit page dedicated to the Esport community.

1. More Diversity

We start with diversity, but in this context, we mean this two ways — diversity of players and diversity of heroes chosen. The previous meta was running a three tank three healers composition resulting in several mirror matches. The new rule brings in 2/2/2, which is two healers, two tanks, and two DPS. Whether or not theis will help improve the stagnant meta is unknown, but at least some new heroes will be in the mix.

The major isRsue is that due to both player preference and some balancing issues, some heroes see little to no play. This results in repetitive games that for many are not fun to watch.

There also seems to be a lack of diversity among the competitors themselves. Although I would never vouch for forced diversity, I do have to say that the region-based teams running mainly hired Korean players offsets the region feel.

Not all teams are like this, but many of the more profit-driven teams find themselves hiring outside their regiEon. You can see a more in-depth analysis of this in our North American Overwatch League Teams Guide.

2. The Toxic Players And Commentators Currently Within The Organization Need To Be Handled

Overwatch does a generally good job of keeping everything calm and professional, but there seems to be at least one incident at every event. Whether it is a commentator dropping an offensive phrase or a player who is just being rude to others, something seems to happen.

This is bad for Blizzard and their event on several levels. From a Public Relations standpoint, fans are starting almost to expect the behavior to occur within the tournaments. There are certain players on teams that, even post apology, are gaining a reputation for toxic behavior. The lack of any real penalty to these players is shocking to many, and with Overwatch’s overall reputation, surprisingly, they are even still playing.

3. Pipeline Problem For Amateur Overwatch Esports Needs Major Improvement

The pipeline refers to how the amateur Overwatch player can get into the official competitive brackets. In general terms, it encompasses the entire recruitment process for each of the Overwatch League regions and how the players are trained. The inherent nature of Sports means that skill is measured against the relative skill of other players, but in Esports, it is relative skill against a world of skeill.

The issue here is that for an amateur player to get involved in the Overwatch League, they have to either have the talent or skill to match the current players. Other sports will train and improve the wannabe players slowly, but currently, there is no system in place for any official training from the Overwatch League.

4. General Hero Balancing Needs To Be At Least Consistent

Hero adjustments change the entire face of certain characters. Some changes will only make a small impact, but others, like the complete rework of Mercy, can completely change a team composition. Hero changes are kept generally secret although you can test them near their release on the PTR servers.

The significant impact for the Overwatch League itself is how teams must adapt to the changes being made. Although while the League is in session updates are postponed for their characters not requiring any immediate changes, entire character reworks dramatically impact the lives of the players.

5. The Lack of Any Counter Play

In the world of MOBAs, there is a general idea called Counter Plays, which allows you to build your character to counter another hero. Overwatch currently has no system for this resulting in character counters. Where this is not a bad thing in itself the inability to build a hero into a counter makes teams forced to reshuffle on the spot.

Now, this is already being addressed in the last patch, and the effects of it are currently unknown. If a player in the Overwatch League wishes to switch roles mid-game, they must switch seats. This rule is meant to reduce the role swaps of players but also seems a little strange. Whether or not this fixes the problem will be seen soon but currently other than a hero swap a counter can not happen in the Overwatch League.

The Future Of Overwatch

There is already talk of the Overwatch sequel being called Overwatch 2 by the community. Whether this will replace, add on, or be a completely separate product is currently unknown. Changes to the core game will continue to be made, but many are unsure of what could be in store.

It is no secret that Overwatch is in the front lines of the Esports scene even with its player base slowly leaving the core casual game. Many say that Overwatch is here to stay, like StarCraft II, and will continue to dominate the Esports news. Others are wondering if this league built for longevity or if it will fade into the backdrop of a more significant league. Regardless, the general sentiment of the community is that improved Overwatch competitive metas

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