Sep 13 2016 - 4:24 pm

Immortals jumps into Overwatch, signs Sodipop

Another big esports organization jumped into Overwatch last night
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Another big esports organization jumped into Overwatch last night.

Immortals signed Sodipop, giving the team a permanent contender in the big new shooter title. Immortals dipped their toes into Overwatch early last month, trialling the team that eventually signed with FaZe, but decided to hold off picking up a permanent sqaud until now.

Sodipop recently emerged as one of the top teams in North America behind elite squads like Cloud9, EnVyUs, and Fnatic, securing a position at the biggest live event in the region so far, the Overwatch Open regional at the ELEAGUE studios at the end of September. There they’ll represent Immortals for the first time at a live tournament.

The team features a mix of talent from a variety of backgrounds led by solid carry player Christopher “Grimreality” Schaefer and his young partner in crime Brady “Agilities” Girardi. Flanking them on tank is David “Nomy” Perez and on flex Jeremy “Jer” SantaCruz, with support manned by Athen “Aythen” Zhu and George “Hyped” Maganzini. They’ve managed to pull together wins over other second tier teams like Selfess, Splyce, and Method, but victories against squads like Team Liquid and Cloud9 remain elusive.

Immortals hopes that with more organizational support, that will no longer be the case. The team will bootcamp for two weeks in Santa Monica ahead of the ELEAGUE finals where they’ll soak in the Immortals culture and receive support from a professional manager and performance coach.

Even so, Immortals will be an underdog heading into the big ELEAGUE event. But that’s fine for the team and the player-focused organization. They may not be the best right now, but there’s plenty of room for improvement, and with the backing of their new organization they just might unlock that potential.

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).