Aug 5 2016 - 7:28 pm

EHOME signs Overwatch team UW Artisan

One of China’s top esports organizations have signed the Overwatch team featuring the famous Zarya girl whose spectacular gameplay led to people accusing her of cheating
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

One of China’s top esports organizations have signed the Overwatch team featuring the famous Zarya girl whose spectacular gameplay led to people accusing her of cheating.

EHOME scored one of the top Korean squads in UW Artisan, the team that placed second behind MiG Frost in the $15,000 Nexus Cup last month, which featured the top teams from both Korea and China.

The Artisan team has been one of Korea’s best squads for a while, but they hit global news when their 17-year-old Zarya player “Geguri” was accused of cheating by other Korean pros. She was subsequently cleared, after playing on a live stage for everyone to see, proving her doubters wrong. The incident showcased the talent of the young woman as well as her team, and also showed how important anti-cheat procedures will be during the youth of the next big esport.

Needless to say, Geguri and company have earned their new contracts. They’re now part of EHOME, one of China’s longest-running gaming franchises, famous for its Dota 2 teams but recently expanding into Counter-Strike and now Overwatch.

"Even now I can't believe that we are joining EHOME, a club with so much history,” Lime, the team’s coach, said in the announcement. “Big thanks to EHOME for giving us this opportunity, we will work endlessly towards achieving good results."

If reports about Korean work ethic in gaming and Overwatch are true, they’re already working endlessly to produce success. Korea and China do not have the history of success in shooter titles like America and Europe, but those countries have embraced Overwatch with unprecedented zeal, making it the most popular game in Korean PC bangs after ending League of Legends five-year reign. If Korea is going to show their esports supremacy extends beyond MOBAs and RTS games and into shooters, it just might be EHOME and their new team that does it.

Jan 16 2017 - 6:06 pm

Third-person health bars make competitive Overwatch easier to spectate

And Blizzard has added them to the game's public test region.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Thank you, Blizzard! Overwatch in-game spectators can now toggle on third-person floating health bars for both teams.

It's a feature that's going to make Overwatch esports much more pleasant to watch—and it'll have a positive influence in caster analysis, too. Blizzard quietly implemented floating health bars for spectators in the latest Overwatch public test region patch, though the feature is expected to make it to the live server soon.

"I think this is going to help casting quite a bit in some of these bigger fights," OGN Overwatch caster Erik "DoA" Lonnquist said in a video on the feature. "You call tell the narrative of the fight a little bit more. You can kind of see who is getting lower."

Previously, this information was only available in the third-person perspective by looking away from the fight and to the team lineup bars at the top. And given how chaotic Overwatch can be, looking away for any amount of time could cause confusion.

Third-person health bars are one of the features fans and casters have been clamoring for, with Blizzard promising that increased spectator functionality would continue to roll out. "I think it really shows that [Blizzard] is listening to us," DoA added. "They're looking at what needs to be done in spectator mode. They're taking the steps they need to make it better. Props to Blizzard for putting it in there."

Blizzard has not commented on when this feature will hit Overwatch's live server, but we're guessing DoA wants it before he starts casting season two of the OGN Overwatch APEX on Jan. 17.

Jan 16 2017 - 4:46 pm

Cloud9 recruits new player ahead of Overwatch APEX Season 2

Former NRG Esports player Daniel "Gods" Graeser will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Western Overwatch teams are arriving in South Korea just days before the OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 tournament series is set to begin—and Cloud9 is just announcing a roster change.

Daniel "Gods" Graeser, a flex/DPS player who was released from NRG Esports in October, will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder on Cloud9. KyKy will step down from the starting roster, though he'll stay in South Korea as a temporary coach for Cloud9 opponent Team EnVyUs.

Uncertainty in Overwatch's meta is likely the cause of Cloud9's roster shakeup: A new patch is in testing on Overwatch's public test realm and expected to hit the live server at any time. Gods, as a flex player, is like a safety net. With Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson also on flex, they've got much of the hero pool covered.

"I'm very excited to be joining Cloud9," Gods said in a statement. "Becoming part of such an amazing organization is definitely a huge opportunity for my career, and I can't wait to see all that we can accomplish together."

Though a last minute roster change seems reckless, it's worked for invited OGN Overwatch APEX teams in the past. In season one, Team EnVyUs was forced to replace Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree after he quit the team days before EnVyUs was scheduled to fly to South Korea. The sudden switch up seemed to work for EnVyUs, who brought on Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and won the whole tournament. With KyKy as coach, they're looking to do the same. The former Cloud9 player, however, is not signed to EnVyUs permanently: "[He's] here to help us as a tryout for a coaching position," Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka tweeted. "We're optimistic about his position."

EnVyUs will take on MVP Infinity when OGN Overwatch APEX season two begins on Jan. 17 at 5am ET (7pm KST). Cloud9 takes the stage Jan. 20 at 5am ET (7pm KST).