Aug 4 2016 - 11:49 pm

Overwatch to add more stats to spectator mode, says game director Jeff Kaplan

Overwatch esports is set to debut on television next month, with TBS' ELEAGUE tournament
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Overwatch esports is set to debut on television next month, with TBS' ELEAGUE tournament. But, with the game's complicated spectator mode, is it really ready for mainstream viewership?

In its current form, the spectator mode is still a barebones product. There’s no map overview to take in a summary of the action at a glance, and casters and viewers do not have access to statistics required to build a narrative around the haphazard action on the screen. Watching Overwatch is tough, and it's partly because the tools to do it better aren’t there. But hopefully they will be soon, if game director Jeff Kaplan is to be believed.

During a live question and answer session with streamer “Fairlight_Excalibur,” the spectator mode topic came up and Kaplan gave a succinct answer.

"We want to work on more spectator mode features, in particular for esports,” he told the stream. “And when we do more for esport we want to add a spectator mode that has a lot of statistics for the match so that broadcasters and observers can surface more to the viewers and I think make a really great experience for viewing esport or competitive Overwatch."

Right now it’s tough to tell the story of how a match was won. Simple statistics like damage dealt are not available to broadcasters, so there’s no objective way to truly judge the performance of players in the server. Adding a scoreboard and showing more statistics than the ones that are viewable in-game, but are clearly tracked already—based off the post-game cards players vote on after every match—would let commentators better explain the action and back it up with real numbers.

Of course, that’s only one of many potential updates to spectator functionality that might help turn the game from what’s often a mess of visual clutter and colors into a more watchable product, and Kaplan wasn’t offering much in the way of details. Still, it’s a start, and something that will hopefully be available by the time Overwatch hits primetime television for the ELEAGUE grand finals on Sept. 30.

H/t Gamurs

Jan 20 2017 - 4:08 pm

Kungarna, Immortals advance to Overwatch Winter Premiere finals

Team Liquid and Renegades will not move on.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Andrej "babybay" Francisty hides just out of view while the rest of Kungarna baits compLexity Gaming into position in the second floor corridor inside the Dorado ziggurat. Babybaby, on pink-haired tank hero Zarya, peeks out from the side and unleashes graviton surge just as Michael "mykL" Padilla launches his D.Va self destruct bomb from the first floor, right into the mess of compLexity players upstairs. And that's the majority of compLexity just melted by the massive bomb combo.

With four compLexity players down, Kungarna is able to cruise right to the finish.

As one of the only two unsigned teams heading into Next Generation Esports' Overwatch Winter Premiere, Kungarna took many opponents by surprise. Some questioned whether they'd be able to get out of the first phase of group stages. But it's going to be hard to overlook Kungarna after their incredible run in the round of six. The team fell only to Team Liquid on day one and Immortals on day two, going undefeated on day three.

Heading into the finals, which begin Jan. 27 at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas, Kungarna doesn't have to worry about Team Liquid. Along with Renegades, Team Liquid will not move on to the LAN finals for the Overwatch Winter Premiere. Instead, Kungarna will take on Immortals, compLexity Gaming, and Luminosity Gaming next week.

Renegades' early departure from the Overwatch Winter Premiere will likely shock fans, given the win streak the newly acquired team started the tournament with. But on day four of the round of eight, everything changed: They started losing and never stopped. Through the round of six, Renegades put up a fight, taking one round each match, but weren't able to take a full series. With the whole team moving to Detroit to live and play together, Renegades is surely hoping to regain their initial success.

The single elimination finals bracket begins Jan. 27 and will continue into Jan. 28. The tournament will be broadcast live on both the PAX Arena and NGE Overwatch Twitch channels.

Jan 19 2017 - 9:19 pm

Overwatch players honor friend with heartfelt send-off

The tribute was organized by a Philippines-based gaming collective.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Processing the death of a friend is never easy. But it can help to grieve where you spent time together—even if that happens to be the battlegrounds of Overwatch.

When the team at games website Too Much Gaming lost their beloved colleague Willem Den Toom, they took to Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch to express their pain. Using Toom's favorite Overwatch heroes—Pharah, Reinhardt, Symmetra, Zarya, and Lúcio—and Hanzo, the group of friends coordinated rocket launcher and fire strike sendoffs toward Overwatch map Eichenwalde's moon as a gun salute for their friend.

"Wherever you are, may the payload be always moving, the point always contested, no one trickles out, and may there always [be] a healer on your team," Toom's friends posted to YouTube. "We miss you, big guy. This Play of the Game is for you."

Toom suffered a heart attack and died at 35 on Jan. 16, Too Much Gaming editor Carlos Herdandez told Mic. "He was loved by many and his loss pretty much struck waves in various communities in the gaming community here in the Philippines," Hernandez said. "Overwatch was the one game that we play together regularly after a long day. It's one of his favorite games." Honoring Toom in Overwatch was an obvious choice for the group.

The video ends with each player sending off Hanzo's dragonstrike ultimate, unleashing a continuous stream of swirling dragons toward the moon.

H/t Mic