17 June 2016 - 18:35

Overwatch now more popular than LoL in South Korean internet cafes

Overwatch is attracting a lot of attention from video gamers, especially in South Korea.
Dot Esports

The new first-person shooter game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch, which was released in May of this year, is attracting a lot of attention from video gamers, especially in South Korea. The extremely technologically advanced country has always been a target for game developers like Blizzard and Riot Games, and for the past few years, Riot has dominated the eyes of South Korean gamers. However, that changed rapidly with the release of Overwatch.




The graph above, which was posted on the Overwatch reddit page shows the popularity of games in South Korean internet cafes. The blue line portrays Riot Games’ League of Legends, and the orange lines shows Blizzard’s Overwatch. One can see a very clear association between the release of Overwatch, and it’s subsequent rise in popularity, with the dramatic fall of League of Legends. Rather interestingly, the play rates of the other two games featured, Suddenattack, a Korean version Counter-Strike 1.6, and FIFA 3 showed only a slight decrease. It is also worth noting the fact that League of Legends is a MOBA game, while Overwatch is an FPS, two completely different genres in which people appear to be forgetting LoL, and playing Overwatch, for the time being at least. Also quite interesting is the fact that the only other FPS, Suddenattack, showed no major loss in playership.


Gettogold, who are a South Korean based company that runs a near majority of internet cafes in the country, also published a similar graph. Their numbers show Overwatch at a higher playrate then League of Legends by .41%. Overwatch is number one, while LoL is number two on the graph below. Note the arrows next to the game titles, indicating a position change.




The change in which game people are playing is not just happening in South Korea; many players both in North America and in Europe are putting more attention into Overwatch than LoL. With the recent series of woes LoL has been facing with queue times and role selections, it is easy to see why people are playing more Overwatch than LoL at this time. Youtuber Sky Williams posted a video to his channel with over 890,000 subscribers entitled “Is League fun?” He began the video by saying, “Before anything, I want to just go ahead and debunk this - I am not quitting League and jumping ship and going over to Overwatch.” Though his channel remains LoL focused, he has posted Overwatch gameplay.


Most players, like Sky, say they are not giving up LoL, but just enjoying the freshly released game from Blizzard. Whether or not Overwatch can keep up with LoL or if LoL can retake it’s spot on the top step of the gaming podium is yet to be seen. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure; if you have 20 minute plus queue times, why not play a little bit of a new game?

What are your thoughts on the rise of Overwatch, let us know by commenting below or by tweeting us @GAMURScom.

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