Overwatch is the Next Big Esport
Overwatch, a new game released on May 24, 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment, has taken over the PC and console world this past month. Overwatch is the next big up-and-coming esport of the 21st century.
Before hopping right into the details, let's explain what Overwatch is. The game is a fast paced first person shooter with six people on each team. The objective in the game is either capture a point and hold it until it hits 100% or escort a payload to the final checkpoint. The game has a variety of characters that fall under these categories: offense, defense, tank and support.
How is Overwatch the next big esport?
Overwatch already has had $92,371 in total prize pools for online tournaments, which is very impressive because most new games never would have this much money in prize pools only one month after the game came out. Backing this idea up is one of the biggest first person shooter games out there, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with online prize pools as of today at $4,118,247 after the game being out for a little over four years. Projecting Overwatch’s online tournament’s prize pools in this amount of time puts the prize pool at $4,618,550. This is if the prize pool was just $92,371 per month, but it could easily increase over the months, especially the rise in popularity of esports.
In recent news, Overwatch has it’s biggest LAN coming up in about two months. ESL will be hosting a $100,000 LAN, the biggest prize pool for Overwatch so far, at the upcoming gamescom. With a LAN including this size prize pool being hosted only three months after the game has came out, who knows what the prize pool could be in a year.
Many esport organizations will not go into a new esport unless they see potential, some small organizations may go into newer esports because they have less to lose. For organizations, this is a business and they hope to make a profit. To many organizations, Overwatch definitely showed potential. Many teams were already picking up rosters in the beta of Overwatch, with big name organizations venturing into the Overwatch such as Team EnVyUs, Luminosity Gaming and Cloud9.
However, new organizations have been blossoming everywhere. These new organizations have proved they can play with the big guys, such as Rogue, who is currently ranked as the third best team in the world according to GOSU Gamers. The current best team in Overwatch, EnVyUs, made $24,500 over the span of three days in tournaments. An added bonus is that the game will get more exposure from these big name organizations joining the realm of Overwatch. With Overwatch growing, it only means more and more organizations will be joining, which means the game will grow even more.
Along with Overwatch’s growing prize pools and big organizations, the game has taken YouTube and Twitch by storm. On YouTube, a combination of gameplay, clips, guides and analysts have been racking in crazy amounts of views. The majority of gameplay highlight videos have been getting over 50,000 views. Along with these highlights, a popular YouTube channel known for it’s guides and tips, called Overwatch Central, has really taken off in the past 30 days, bringing in over five million views and more than 70 thousand subscribers.
On the other hand, Overwatch has taken over as one of the most popular games on Twitch. Last month, Overwatch had 21,870,000 hours viewed on Twitch, being the fifth most viewed game of May 2016. Overwatch fluctuates from first to fifth place in most viewers list at a time on Twitch. With Overwatch proving to be one of the biggest games in terms of viewers, it helps to show it's potential as an esport. This will help more companies want to host tournaments with larger prize pools every month.
Adding this all up, Overwatch will continue to grow into one of the biggest esports. If Blizzard gets more involved into Overwatch as an esport, who knows where it could lead the game. With more players, organizations and tournaments everyday, the future for Overwatch is very bright.