14th February, 2018
No matter what gaming website you visit today, there’s always one hot topic on the tip of everyone's tongue: Overwatch.
Hate it or love it, there’s no escaping the fast-paced FPS that is taking the eSports gaming industry by storm. With over 35 million active players and more joining every single day, some say Overwatch could be the next eSports giant.
But before it becomes the next king of eSports, there’s one game it needs to overtake: League of Legends.
With its large fan base and eSports following, how soon, if ever, will Overwatch overtake LoL?
To answer that question, we need to look at how competitive each game is and how die-hard the fans are. Only then can we decide if Overwatch is a competitive game with a future or just another fad. To get things started let’s begin with League of Legends and how competitive it is.
For those of you that don’t know, League of Legends has been around since 2009 and is the biggest MOBA out there by far. With over 100 million active monthly players, there’s no denying people enjoy playing it. The chances are you’re bound to have at least a few friends that play it in your friendship group.
With its own ranked system in game, players can battle against each other to become one of the top 1% of players. As you can probably imagine, it’s very competitive.
Each region has its own servers which allow players to compete against each other and show off their skills. The good players quickly find themselves climbing the ladder and reaching the top tiers of competitive play. Other players usually end up stuck in the lower tiers with the dream of one day reaching that prestigious Challenger tier.
Once players have reached Challenger tier, it's usually the time they turn pro. With only 200 Challenger players on a server at any given time, reaching that rank is in itself impressive. But when that becomes “2 ez” players often look for the next challenge: winning trophies.
Currently, there are various worldwide League of Legends tournaments that take place every few months. In these tournaments, teams go head to head in the best of 3 to 5 games to decide who the winner for that stage is. After battling various teams and sorting the scorecards, the winning team lifts the trophy and is declared the champion of that tournament.
The biggest League of Legends tournament of the year has to be the World Championship that takes place in early autumn. Hosted in different continents every year, this tournament decides who the overall winner is for the year and is considered the crème de la crème of eSports tournaments. With millions of players tuning in to watch the World Championships, it’s been the most popular eSports history in the world for several years. If you want to watch competitive eSports at it’s finest, then this is the tournament to watch.
Now you know how competitive League of Legends is, how well does Overwatch measure up?
Released in 2016, Overwatch is the brainchild of the highly successful developers Blizzard Entertainment. Know for their range of successful games including StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft; Overwatch is Blizzard’s take on the FPS genre.
Based on first-person shooters like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch puts six players up against each other in a battle to escort the payload or capture the point.
Just like League of Legends, Overwatch has its own ranked ladder where players can climb the ranks and earn golden in-game items. The highest available tier in Overwatch is the top 500 and as you’ve probably guessed, has the top 500 players in it. Players spend countless months battling each other to reach this prestigious rank. To make things even harder, the Overwatch rankings reset every 58 - 90 days when a new season starts. This means if you want to reach that top tier then you only have a couple of months to do so.
Overwatch is so competitive that many players often buy Overwatch top 500 boosting services in order to climb the ranks. With time being a crucial factor, everyone wants to give themselves an Overwatch boost in order to claim their end of season rewards. Since competitive points are so hard to come by, it’s understandable why people buy boosting, they just want to be the best.
Once players have consistently reached the top 500 tier, many set their eye on competing in Overwatch tournaments. With plenty of Overwatch tournaments taking place throughout the year, many players are eager to turn pro and start cashing in on tournaments.
The biggest event of the year is the Overwatch League (OWL) which takes place in January and lasts until June. In 2016 the league was first announced and 12 teams were established to play in the league. The first season of the Overwatch League started in January 2018 with a total prize pool of $3.5million to be split among entrants. With plenty of different teams competing from all over the world, everyone wants to watch the pros battle it out to become the kings.
In addition to the huge prize pool, the Overwatch League is currently the only eSports tournament in the world with a permanent residence. Known as the Blizzard Arena, the developers behind the game built a state of the art venue in California to host specifically host the league. From now on, every league will be held in this impressive arena and live streamed around the world for everyone to watch.
Now we’ve looked at the competitive scene on both League of Legends and Overwatch, who’s the overall winner?
From looking at both games, it’s clear to see that both have their own competitive ranking systems and eSports tournaments. With millions of players playing both games daily, it’s very hard to decide which is the winner. Not to mention, that they are both completely different genres.
If you want to play the most competitive MOBA game out there, then LoL is clearly the winner. From looking at its huge eSports attendance and concurrent players, nothing comes close. However, when it comes to FPS, there’s no denying Overwatch stomps all over CS:GO and COD. With its huge eSports scene that’s still in its early stages, Overwatch has the potential to become an eSports giant over the next few years.
For now, we think League of Legends takes the title by a whisker. But keep your eyes peeled, you’re going to be seeing a lot more about Overwatch on the news in the upcoming years.