Overwatch League begins as Philadelphia Fusion pulls out

It’s a less-than-ideal way for Blizzard’s long-awaited esports league to begin.

The Overwatch League preseason began this week, although not with all of the expected players. Philadelphia Fusion had to withdraw from the league at the last minute due to “logistics issues,” leaving Blizzard scrambling to rearrange the schedule around this hole. Blizzard Watch theorizes that it Philadelphia’s problems may be related to visa issues or a player suspension. In any case, the studio said that it expects the team will be back to compete in the regular season.

To draw in the larger Overwatch community into the excitement, Blizzard teased the addition of league uniforms next year as in-game skins. The studio also hired painters to create large murals for the game in cities lately, which you can see below.

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28 Comments on "Overwatch League begins as Philadelphia Fusion pulls out"

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Jerry Dirasato

And what exactly does this have to do with mmos?

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Melissa McDonald

Hey look at it this way, if it catches on here, we’ll end up sending some dudes named Josh or Spencer or Lucas back to Asia to compete in Hong Kong. This kind of thing can be truly international, but only getting started in America.

All that being said, I don’t get it, don’t enjoy watching it, and don’t think it should rightfully be called “sport”. Adding video gaming to the Olympics would cause Zeus and Athena to shake their heads sadly, remembering when the Greek ideal of a strong body and mind used to mean something.

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Armsbend

The Olympics are dying off anyway. Adding more stupid sports will just hasten the inevitable. Or get it back to the extreme basics. The original Greek sports.

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Knox Harrington

Naked wrestling at the base of Mount Olympus FTW!

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Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Nude marathon running. You tell me one human being on earth who isn’t tuning in to that.

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Melissa McDonald

“Laundry Day – Nothing Clean Right” (wonders who gets the quote and why…)

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RJB

You get suspended for cheating or being toxic you deserve suspension

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Slaasher

???

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Slaasher

Ok so I watched the video of the paintings and I applaud this. Hiring artists instead of print and paste billboards is not cheap and I applaud the effort Blizz has made. I am sure the arts communities in each of these cities does as well.
Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go find the Toronto billboard.

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mysecretid

You can all laugh at me if I turn out to be wrong, as you prefer, but I still find it difficult to believe that e-sports based on Overwatch are going to catch on big in the West.

The fantasy of watching actual, traditional sports, Olympic or league, is that most of us never get to participate in those sports in that sort of context.

How many of us will ever compete in an Olympics, or step onto a professional baseball diamond to play, or play in a league football stadiium?

Yet, with a computer game like Overwatch, all one needs is a copy of the game, and the innate skill of playing at a rare performance level, and you’re there.

You may not get paid for it, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the widely-held fantasy of the experience of play.

Why would I watch “pro teams” play Overwatch when I can play it for myself, and live the fantasy on some level?

I expect a lot of you may disagree with me, and that’s your right, of course, but be aware that I’m not going to debate this one here. I’ve said my piece, I’m done. Agree or disagree, as you like.

I just don’t think e-sports is going to be as big or as profitable in the West as its backers and promoters expect it be.

My opinions, anyway,

Cheers,

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Armsbend

When real professional sports were being developed at the beginning of the 20th century they were small in scope.

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Danny Smith

It absolutely won’t. One reason: lack of a baseline. Look at every shooter that got big in esports like Halo 2 and its not the same experience you have at home. Its limited items, flat maps with sheer walls. It is designed to be as level a playing field as possible. The supers alone in Overwatch means this can’t happen. Throw in rosters of different characters per team and there is no stable element here. It can only lead to “X team stacks hero Y, so nerf it or we call abuse” shit you always see in esports. Its just a different crowd that are not your ‘stream and chill’ streamers, they are competitive and want a level playing field because if its not there it always and i mean always devolves into witchhunts over exploits.
Overwatch is a fun game but it is in no way balanced for a stable, competitive longterm event.

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Knox Harrington

I practice Brazilian Jujitsu even though I’ll never be in a big tournament rolling against the best in the world. But I still watch those tournaments. People are going to immerse themselves in whatever they’re interested in, regardless of their aptitude for said interests. I do agree though that competitive gaming isn’t going to be as big in the West as it is in the East just because we still place a high value on physical prowess. If you ask the average person in the West if they know about e-sports, they’re going to say, “wtf are e-sports?” and when you explain that it’s kids playing video games against each other, they’re going to say, “yeah that’s not a sport”. No matter how casual gaming has become, competitive gaming is still a niche in the West and that probably won’t change for another generation or two.

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Melissa McDonald

BJJ has proven itself as one of, if not the most, effective styles in unarmed combat. That’s pretty significant.

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McGuffn

Visa issues? Are the teams not even from the city they’re named after?

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Slaasher

Think of it like the NHL. I believe that the largest percentage of players in the NHL are Canadian even though most teams are American cities.
This is the norm for most professional sports teams. I mean imagine how things might be different if the New England Patriots only came from New England.

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Lethality

You’d be hard pressed to find a member of any professional sports team actually from the city they’re playing in.

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McGuffn

Right but those players actually, you know, play in their city. I’m hard pressed to think of a visa issue that would allow one into Philadelphia but not Los Angeles. The teams then, are kind of a joke in that they claim to be representing a city. They don’t play home games there, they’re not from there. What’s the point?

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Armsbend

If you think about it having it any other way would be impossible. If you “drew” San Francisco or NYC as your “home” city then it’s not as if any of these jokers could afford to live remotely close to the city. And drawing Philly? What if you don’t want to live in that dump?

tl;dr it all sounds pretty dumb.

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Knox Harrington

Except playing video games is not a sport.

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Slaasher

No you are correct. it is an “e-sport”

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Lethality

That’s a different and unrelated discussion.

Regardless of the activity involved, the structure of the Overwatch League is — by design — exactly that of a professional sports league. Therefore, the teams players have no inherent connection to the city they play for.

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Knox Harrington

It’s too forced. Professional sports leagues did not start out that way. They organically became like that over time out of necessity.

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starbuck1771

Yup a lot of the players are actually from China and South Korea. You can find links to each of the rosters here: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/overwatch/Overwatch_League The funny part is of 12 teams only three are international teams. Seoul, Shanghai, & London yet there are less american representatives on the majority of the American teams. Houston has the most U.S. players.

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Knox Harrington

Seems like a marketing ploy to make American participation seem bigger than it is.

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Lethality

Psst…. all sports are a marketing ploy.

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Knox Harrington

Life is a marketing ploy!

/wrists

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starbuck1771

None of them are American they were to represent Philly in the league but they are all foreigners. http://wiki.teamliquid.net/overwatch/Philadelphia_Fusion

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