The next big esports title will soon be in the hands of the playing public. Part of it, at least.
On Wednesday Blizzard revealed that Overwatch, its upcoming team-based shooter, will enter its closed beta on Oct. 27. Those lucky enough to receive invites at that time, a “small number of testers,” will be able to play the game. Note that date only applies to the Americas region. Those in Europe and Asia must wait.
Overwatch is Blizzard’s first new intellectual property since StarCraft and its first foray into the first-person shooter genre. The game pits players as heroes or villains in a futuristic world featuring a colorful cast of characters similar to many battle arena games and six-on-six competitive objective-based gameplay titles such as Team Fortress 2.
The game is one of the biggest major titles in a growing trend of similar team-based shooters like Battleborn, Paladins, LawBreakers, and Gigantic. It’s also a title in which many see huge esports potential—a new shooter for fans of games where you don’t have to stop moving every time you shoot.
Of course, only an “extremely limited” number of players will get to try the title later this month. But fear not: Those who don’t get into the first beta run will still get opportunities to play during Beta Test Weekends, which Blizzard will use to conduct stress tests that challenge specific parts of the Overwatch system, like server stability, specific heroes or maps, or specific hardware. Beta weekends will begin after BlizzCon in early November, and will feature a much larger scale playerbase.
If you want in on the action, make sure to sign up for the Overwatch beta.