Hot Take: OWL is Boring (Right Now)

I’m starting to write this article before the Day 4 Week 3 matches so basically March 3, 2019. And at the time of writing this blog post, I have to say, the majority of it has been so boring to watch. For the most part, I mostly have it playing in the background on my TV just to show it some support but I’m not really engaged in the game.

So as a little background, about the past year or so ago, I stopped playing Overwatch but I wasn’t completely out of the loop. I had been managing a Tier 3 Overwatch Team so I had an idea of what was meta was and different strategies so when watching OWL matches, it was easy to keep up. As many of you know, real life took over and I eventually stopped managing. I fell out of the loop on what was going on with Overwatch at a high competitive level.

Now at this point, I like to consider myself as more of a casual viewer of OWL rather than someone who had been surrounded by high level gameplay and players. But I know that the optimal composition to run is GOATs. I’ll admit that I have very little knowledge about the composition and how it works. I know there are different variations but I don’t really know what makes one team GOATs better than the other. Ray’s told me a lot of it comes down to Zarya’s bubble management but that’s kind of the top layer of the composition’s complex gameplay.

Enter Overwatch League Season 2. Majority of the time, GOATs or some variation of it is being ran by both teams facing each other. I don’t speak for everyone, but from the perspective of someone who considers themselves an average viewer, GOATs vs GOATs is just boring and hard to watch. All I see is two teams shooting abilities at each other until someone dies or until they farm all their ultimates and use it all at once.

I’m not saying that’s exactly what is happening (or maybe it is, I don’t know). I’m sure there is a method to the monotony. But like I said, as someone who considers themselves an average viewer, that is what I see. I almost want to say it’s similar to a boxing match. They’re punching and jabbing each other every once and awhile until a weak spot is exposed. And because these two teams are just butting heads until one falls, I have to say the shout casting has been so lackluster. These would be times where the casters personality has to be out there more to entertain the audience but  casters can only do so much to make a match interesting.

This is a major problem for the Overwatch League. The first problem is that OWL won’t be able to retain new viewers. New viewers will be bored and confused watching the game and will just leave right away. Casual players will eventually stopped watching as well because they can’t follow the gameplay as well as high ranked players. Eventually, if this keeps up, the only people left will be the high ranked players. Low viewership means advertisers and sponsors won’t think it’s worth investing and that’s where most of the money is aside from merchandise comes from.

The best way to get this fixed is to make it easy to watch. I don’t personally know how they can patch the game to make GOATs go away but it needs to in order to make the game viewer friendly. It can still be considered “boring,” which is suggestive, but the more engaging is it is to watch the game, the better it is to retain viewership. I remember I decided to watch a CS:GO tournament on Twitch and even though I thought the game wasn’t exciting, it was so easy to keep track of what was going on and I was really engaged. They kept me watching for a good hour which is way more than what I expected to watch.

So yeah that’s basically it! I hope you all enjoy the read. I hope Blizzard figures out a way to fix their game so that OWL can be successful and last many years. But that is it for me. I will see you all next time!

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