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(Wired)   The Overwatch video game league may become the new NFL as long as it doesn't take an arrow to the knee (with audience photo of kids and their boomsticks)   ( wired.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Overwatch, Overwatch League, players, Los Angeles Valiant, team, game, esports, Sports league  
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1027 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Dec 2017 at 1:17 PM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-12-05 10:27:54 AM  
Overwatch is Team Fortress 2 for Blizzard fanatics.
 
2017-12-05 10:48:14 AM  
Do they take a knee?
 
2017-12-05 12:50:03 PM  
We already beat this to death in the other thread, but basically: What's fun to play isn't always fun to watch.  Overwatch isn't fun to watch because (as I wrote) "It's a game of pure tactics where deaths are handwaved with immediate respawns, it doesn't have enough characters to make the process of picking a team interesting."

Obviously, though, I've played the game less than the fifty-thousand hours required in order to comment on it, and if you want to one-on-one, to prove I am not qualified to comment, the only rule is that I get to play Tracer and you play Widowmaker.  For research purposes, obviously.
 
2017-12-05 01:22:19 PM  

GreenAdder: Overwatch is Team Fortress 2 for Blizzard fanatics.


What's wrong with spending $60 on a game type you can get for free?


/shakes fist at TF2 microtransactions
 
2017-12-05 01:28:26 PM  
It might, but they need to do something to make its participants less cringey to watch. Petulant, self-important narcissistic, poor-sports... nah, y'know what? They'll do fine among professional athletes.
 
2017-12-05 01:51:08 PM  
They'll have a mountain to climb against LoL's worldwide leagues.
 
2017-12-05 02:34:37 PM  
Doomed to fail.  How can the nigh-retarded viewers feel casually superior to the players if they can't tell if they're black or not?
 
2017-12-05 02:35:00 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-05 02:36:46 PM  
It don't see it happening. Video games are simply too complicated, no one will understand what is going on unless they play the game.

Even if you don't understand the nuances of a real sport, you can at least understand the physics of it. Video games don't even have that going for them.
 
2017-12-05 02:37:48 PM  

KidKorporate: Doomed to fail.  How can the nigh-retarded viewers feel casually superior to the players if they can't tell if they're black or not?


Wtf?
 
2017-12-05 02:58:58 PM  
Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?
 
2017-12-05 03:18:18 PM  

RobotSpider: It might, but they need to do something to make its participants less cringey to watch. Petulant, self-important narcissistic, poor-sports... nah, y'know what? They'll do fine among professional athletes.


Watch some Hearthstone instead. Even the kids are well behaved.

/most of them are kinda kids.
 
2017-12-05 03:21:29 PM  
Deathmatch games with respawns are boring as shiat, but about 50,000% more interesting than gridiron football.
 
2017-12-05 03:24:36 PM  

AUAIOMRN: It don't see it happening. Video games are simply too complicated, no one will understand what is going on unless they play the game.

Even if you don't understand the nuances of a real sport, you can at least understand the physics of it. Video games don't even have that going for them.


I disagree.  I live in the heart of SEC football country and know many people that can't watch soccer because "they don't understand it / why aren't there more goals? / why do they always pass backwards? / What the hell is offside?" They don't, as you said, understand the physics of it and write off the entire game.  Similarly, I couldn't enjoy watching American Football until I bought a copy of NCAA 2007 and learned the mechanics of the game.

I think it'll come down to the production:  How good are the casters? How well do they integrate instant replay and John Madden-style writing on the maps to explain what happened to the viewer? How do they break the wall and get people to "just watch it one time and see if you like it?"
 
2017-12-05 03:34:08 PM  

Where wolf: AUAIOMRN: It don't see it happening. Video games are simply too complicated, no one will understand what is going on unless they play the game.

Even if you don't understand the nuances of a real sport, you can at least understand the physics of it. Video games don't even have that going for them.

I disagree.  I live in the heart of SEC football country and know many people that can't watch soccer because "they don't understand it / why aren't there more goals? / why do they always pass backwards? / What the hell is offside?" They don't, as you said, understand the physics of it and write off the entire game.  Similarly, I couldn't enjoy watching American Football until I bought a copy of NCAA 2007 and learned the mechanics of the game.

I think it'll come down to the production:  How good are the casters? How well do they integrate instant replay and John Madden-style writing on the maps to explain what happened to the viewer? How do they break the wall and get people to "just watch it one time and see if you like it?"


Even understanding the physics of the sport can't help sometimes.

I grew up on hockey. Not just hockey, but I actually saw Mario Lemiuex and Jaromir Jagar win games live.

When I watch soccer, the mechanics of the game are, fundamentally, the same as ice hockey, only much much slower and without the hits or slapshots.

Or take Olympic fencing. I love fencing. I would love to cross epees with any Olympian. But I can't watch them flail around and double kill one another because it's just stupid. Impressively fast, of course, but the art of fencing is in the DEFENSE. You're supposed to SURVIVE a sword fight, not just hit the other person a little bit faster than they can hit you.
 
2017-12-05 03:35:09 PM  
I can only tolerate watching OW when it's following one guy.
The worst is when the viewpoint snaps from one Tracer to the other team's Tracer, and at first you aren't sure if she just blinked oddly.
 
2017-12-05 03:38:05 PM  

doglover: You're supposed to SURVIVE a sword fight, not just hit the other person a little bit faster than they can hit you.


Sometimes one and the same =D: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/vide​o/203​402/Seven-Samurai-The-Movie-Clip-Don-t​-Waste-Your-Life.html
 
2017-12-05 03:41:34 PM  

Where wolf: AUAIOMRN: It don't see it happening. Video games are simply too complicated, no one will understand what is going on unless they play the game.

Even if you don't understand the nuances of a real sport, you can at least understand the physics of it. Video games don't even have that going for them.

I disagree.  I live in the heart of SEC football country and know many people that can't watch soccer because "they don't understand it / why aren't there more goals? / why do they always pass backwards? / What the hell is offside?" They don't, as you said, understand the physics of it and write off the entire game.  Similarly, I couldn't enjoy watching American Football until I bought a copy of NCAA 2007 and learned the mechanics of the game.

I think it'll come down to the production:  How good are the casters? How well do they integrate instant replay and John Madden-style writing on the maps to explain what happened to the viewer? How do they break the wall and get people to "just watch it one time and see if you like it?"


The difference is that with football and soccer you can see the whole field and therefore the entire game all in one place. Video games you cannot usually. There is too much jumping around and dependence on intimate knowledge of the game to understand who is where and why it's important. 

In addition to that fact, the announcers for these games are traditionally terrible. They get way too overexcited and aren't great at simplifying the game for casual viewers. They make reference to 'strats' and terms that you won't get unless you play that particular title. 

The audience for these games, as demonstrated in the article itself, is mostly kids. This means that generally they do not have the disposable income that sports viewers have, meaning that advertising will be limited. Also, I find it ironic that a game rated teen is most popular with kids that appear to not even be teenagers themselves. 

Last point, $20M for team sponsorship is small potatoes to the NFL with teams valued at billions of dollars, and TV contracts valued the same. It's still a very niche market that has large numbers due to international accessibility. When a game goes obsolete, those 'stars', teams, etc, aren't going to play the game anymore - leading to a 'death' of the sport. 

They aren't the same. Nor will they ever be the same.
 
kab
2017-12-05 03:44:24 PM  
Are pro Overwatch players going to be able to beat their wives / abuse dogs, and still get paid to play anyhow?
 
kab
2017-12-05 03:46:59 PM  

Gleeman: GreenAdder: Overwatch is Team Fortress 2 for Blizzard fanatics.

What's wrong with spending $60 on a game type you can get for free?


/shakes fist at TF2 microtransactions


BUT TF2 CHARACTERS DON'T OFFER DIVERSITEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE​Y
 
2017-12-05 03:49:12 PM  
I'd much rather watch Rocket League which already has some big tournaments being aired on cable TV.
 
2017-12-05 03:50:07 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: doglover: You're supposed to SURVIVE a sword fight, not just hit the other person a little bit faster than they can hit you.

Sometimes one and the same =D: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video​/203402/Seven-Samurai-The-Movie-Clip-D​on-t-Waste-Your-Life.html


Ah yes, chambara movies are great.

In real life, hitting a person isn't like an off switch. People are meat machines and nature designed them to take some punishment before going offline.

One story about fighting you want to remember is Jim Bowie at The Sandbar Duel.


Bowie, rising to his feet, drew his knife and charged at Crain, who struck him so hard upon the head with his empty pistol that it broke and sent Bowie to his knees. Wright appeared, drew a pistol, and shot at the fallen Bowie, missing. Wright then drew his sword cane and stabbed Bowie in the chest, but the thin blade was deflected by his sternum. As Wright attempted to pull the blade free, Bowie reached up, grabbed his shirt, and pulled him down upon the point of his Bowie knife.[10][11] Wright died quickly and Bowie was shot again and stabbed by another member of the group.[12] As Bowie stood, both Blanchard brothers fired at him, and he was struck once in the arm. Bowie spun and cut off part of Alfred's forearm; Carey fired a second shot at Bowie, but missed.

So he was brained, run through with a sword, shot several times, and yet still killed one man and dismembered another and scared the rest of his foes away!

That's the kind of human vitality a good fencing system takes into account. George Silver would have gone apoplectic if any of his students were consistently getting double kills. He felt that the perfect English broadsword fight could be fenced bloodlessly by two masters.

So every time I watch the Olympics, it's just painful, even though the physicality is astounding.
 
2017-12-05 04:02:38 PM  

tarheel07: I'd much rather watch Rocket League which already has some big tournaments being aired on cable TV.


As I said in the last thread, Rocket League is the most natural of the eSports.

1) Anyone who has watched hockey or soccer can immediately understand it.
2) It has a moderately fast pace that allows people to follow the action while maintaining the important illusion that any team can score at any second.
3) A ball. In real sports, 95% of the important stuff occurs in the immediate vicinity of the ball/puck/etc.. You just need to keep your camera focused on it. You don't have to split your caster's attention.

That said, I don't think it's perfect. It's non-obvious who each player is at any one moment. They need to improve the ability of the watching public to know who is in each vehicle.
I think they also need to have more clearly defined roles for players, and have their cars reflect that. Currently its like watching a hockey game where either everyone is in goalie gear, or no one is.
 
2017-12-05 04:13:56 PM  

J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?


It's a generational thing. Kids today love watching Let's Plays. I have no idea why.

/though they are highly useful for seeing what gameplay is like
 
2017-12-05 04:14:28 PM  

J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games that I have no interest in playing myself?


FTFY.
 
2017-12-05 04:16:34 PM  

Where wolf: I think it'll come down to the production:  How good are the casters? How well do they integrate instant replay and John Madden-style writing on the maps to explain what happened to the viewer? How do they break the wall and get people to "just watch it one time and see if you like it?"


One thing that will help is that Blizzard is being heavily involved in the league, including making changes to the game to make it more broadcast-friendly (in-game team uniforms and color palettes, added tools for spectators, data analytics from the entire population, etc.) and league-friendly (locking update builds during the "season", etc.).
 
2017-12-05 04:25:02 PM  

Theaetetus: Kids today love watching Let's Plays


It's not just kids.

I have several jobs and a lot of bills. I don't have the time or money to really play every game that comes out. Especially when they're platform exclusive titles. A switch is still $200, but a Zelda let's play is free.
 
2017-12-05 04:29:44 PM  
And the good let's plays also add their own layers over the game.

It's like in the Princess Bride, it's not just the original story, itself a parody of abridging a larger text, but also the Fred Savage/ Peter Falk scenes on top. You get a melange.
 
2017-12-05 04:32:22 PM  
phimuskapsi:

The difference is that with football and soccer you can see the whole field and therefore the entire game all in one place. Video games you cannot usually. There is too much jumping around and dependence on intimate knowledge of the game to understand who is where and why it's important. 

In addition to that fact, the announcers for these games are traditionally terrible. They get way too overexcited and aren't great at simplifying the game for casual viewers. They make reference to 'strats' and terms that you won't get unless you play that particular title. 

The audience for these games, as demonstrated in the article itself, is mostly kids. This means that generally they do not have the disposable income that sports viewers have, meaning that advertising will be limited. Also, I find it ironic that a game rated teen is most popular with kids that appear to not even be teenagers themselves. 

Last point, $20M for team sponsorship is ...


That's what I meant by production. The observers and that crew need to be able to project the big picture of the game.  A very detailed mini map of sorts.  The calls in TFA about left vs right will make no sense to a viewer without some communication. Heroes of the Storm had a decent approach to this in some of their ESPN2 stuff last year, using time between matches to lay out the map and talk strategy much like the "let's compare offensive and defensive lines" of a football game or the "3 keys to win" type graphic of soccer. And a lot of this boils down to what the game itself can do.  Watching CS:GO is usually doable as an amateur because they have a minimap, ghost outlines of enemies, and ability to do flyover rather than first person.  If they had the editing resources of Blizzard, you could probably get a good product out of it.

The caster issue is a known problem in most of the games I've played/watched.  Striking a balance between knowledge of the game, communication ability, and general ability to be a face is tough.  I'd hope that this would improve over time with some league stability, as coaches and former players start looking for work (ala ESPN).

I disagree on advertising. If these games get picked up on major networks, you're adding a huge demographic to your ad space that typically wouldn't watch your network for sports.  But that would remain to be seen.

As to the $20M. Yeah, it's small compared to the NFL. But compare it to a smaller league such as MLS, who have a team salary cap under $4M (minus your designated players), and you might get a better comparison.

I think the larger issue is that a league like this *needs* time and stability.  The NFL wasn't built overnight. MLS has struggled for two decades trying to get a solid footing, but has constantly expanded in both size and market share.  This becomes a problem, because Blizzard inherently wants to make Overwatch 2 (and 3, 4, 12), and cutting off the old game for the new version is not going to bode well for a long-term league.
 
2017-12-05 05:09:42 PM  

Where wolf: phimuskapsi:

The difference is that with football and soccer you can see the whole field and therefore the entire game all in one place. Video games you cannot usually. There is too much jumping around and dependence on intimate knowledge of the game to understand who is where and why it's important. 

In addition to that fact, the announcers for these games are traditionally terrible. They get way too overexcited and aren't great at simplifying the game for casual viewers. They make reference to 'strats' and terms that you won't get unless you play that particular title. 

The audience for these games, as demonstrated in the article itself, is mostly kids. This means that generally they do not have the disposable income that sports viewers have, meaning that advertising will be limited. Also, I find it ironic that a game rated teen is most popular with kids that appear to not even be teenagers themselves. 

Last point, $20M for team sponsorship is ...

That's what I meant by production. The observers and that crew need to be able to project the big picture of the game.  A very detailed mini map of sorts.  The calls in TFA about left vs right will make no sense to a viewer without some communication. Heroes of the Storm had a decent approach to this in some of their ESPN2 stuff last year, using time between matches to lay out the map and talk strategy much like the "let's compare offensive and defensive lines" of a football game or the "3 keys to win" type graphic of soccer. And a lot of this boils down to what the game itself can do.  Watching CS:GO is usually doable as an amateur because they have a minimap, ghost outlines of enemies, and ability to do flyover rather than first person.  If they had the editing resources of Blizzard, you could probably get a good product out of it.

The caster issue is a known problem in most of the games I've played/watched.  Striking a balance between knowledge of the game, communication ability, and general ability to be a face ...


I agree with most of what you said, but advertising...I don't. My point about the kids being the major audience is that they have no disposable income. Parents might be willing to buy a game for their kids, but you aren't going to find many parents willing to drop $1000+ on a gaming rig/accessories/etc.
 
2017-12-05 05:21:25 PM  
Where wolf: This becomes a problem, because Blizzard inherently wants to make Overwatch 2 (and 3, 4, 12), and cutting off the old game for the new version is not going to bode well for a long-term league.

Not necessarily. Blizzard isn't just a developer, they're a partner in the league. They're going to make money from licensing and broadcast rights, so they're not going to shoot themselves in the foot by obsoleting their product.
 
2017-12-05 05:24:12 PM  

phimuskapsi: I agree with most of what you said, but advertising...I don't. My point about the kids being the major audience is that they have no disposable income. Parents might be willing to buy a game for their kids, but you aren't going to find many parents willing to drop $1000+ on a gaming rig/accessories/etc.


The primary demographic for these games isn't kids, but men* aged 20-35. And yeah, they've got a lot of disposable income. It's potentially a billion dollar market. Bear in mind that a ton of it is in South Korea and China, too.

*Overwatch actually has quite a number of female players, more than twice the share of any other FPS
 
2017-12-05 05:45:10 PM  
I watched a couple of YouTube OW vids.  It reminded me of the Speed Racer movie.  Tons of data that is situationally useful if you pinpoint it into action.
 
2017-12-05 06:42:56 PM  

Theaetetus: phimuskapsi: I agree with most of what you said, but advertising...I don't. My point about the kids being the major audience is that they have no disposable income. Parents might be willing to buy a game for their kids, but you aren't going to find many parents willing to drop $1000+ on a gaming rig/accessories/etc.

The primary demographic for these games isn't kids, but men* aged 20-35. And yeah, they've got a lot of disposable income. It's potentially a billion dollar market. Bear in mind that a ton of it is in South Korea and China, too.

*Overwatch actually has quite a number of female players, more than twice the share of any other FPS


That's not who is watching though. The average age of the viewer is 21. That means a lot of young people who also don't have a disposable income.
 
2017-12-05 07:02:07 PM  
Grown adults being paid and sponsored to play a game?  That IS completely idiotic.

Still don't know if we're talking about NFL or Overeatch though.
 
2017-12-05 07:02:45 PM  
Autocorrect can't even stand to correctly spell the title, heh.
 
2017-12-05 07:02:50 PM  

GreenAdder: Overwatch is Team Fortress 2 for Blizzard fanatics. 12 year old boys who havent discovered live-action porn yet

 
2017-12-05 07:21:07 PM  

J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?


Touhou 6: EoSD - Extra Stage - Perfect
Youtube xNUVP_PShPc


Depends on the video game.  (Mental stage starts at 3:30ish)

Touhou players can run through a rainstorm without getting wet.
 
2017-12-05 07:27:16 PM  

J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?


Quake 3 Arena - Fatal1ty Vs Aim
Youtube kRMn1tj5-Nc


I destroyed many liters of vodka and rum playing Q3A with friends. This... is beautiful to watch.
 
2017-12-05 07:32:39 PM  

doglover: But I can't watch them flail around and double kill one another because it's just stupid. Impressively fast, of course, but the art of fencing is in the DEFENSE. You're supposed to SURVIVE a sword fight, not just hit the other person a little bit faster than they can hit you.


And this is why, while I tended to actually win Q3A matches with friends, it was never with a very high K/D ratio, because I would treat the rocket launcher as a melee weapon.

/don't care if i die as long as i take you out with me
 
2017-12-05 08:55:03 PM  

Mister Peejay: doglover: But I can't watch them flail around and double kill one another because it's just stupid. Impressively fast, of course, but the art of fencing is in the DEFENSE. You're supposed to SURVIVE a sword fight, not just hit the other person a little bit faster than they can hit you.

And this is why, while I tended to actually win Q3A matches with friends, it was never with a very high K/D ratio, because I would treat the rocket launcher as a melee weapon.

/don't care if i die as long as i take you out with me


That's different.

Swords are elegant and graceful weapons for nobility to practice the art of fighting.

Video game rocket launchers are toys to be irresponsibly weilded with recless abandon for maximum amusement.
 
2017-12-06 09:56:40 AM  
Blizzard is going all out trying to make watchable-competitive-Overwatch fetch. It might happen.
/Love to play it
//not gonna watch it
///well except for some of the youtube channels that do fun things with it
 
2017-12-06 10:31:35 AM  

J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?


Why would I want to watch people run around with a ball? I can do that myself.
 
2017-12-06 04:13:39 PM  

DaStompa: J.R. 'Bob' Chinaski: Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?

Why would I want to watch people run around with a ball? I can do that myself.


Can you?
 
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