Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
On Twitch, Overwatch is one of the most viewed esports when Overwatch League becomes online. But on a regular basis, the game is not as popular as other games with the same genre, according to a popular streamer.
Dr Disrespect expressed his opinion regarding the popularity of Overwatch on Twitch. His view was not to state problems about the game, but to describe how tough the game for others watch players do their thing. The perspective indicates the differences between watching and playing the game.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game released on May 24, 2016. Nearly three years since its first launch, the game has become popular to many players that motivated Blizzard to allow its participation in esports. To date, the game has hosted major events like Overwatch Contenders and NetEase Esports X Tournament. It also hosted premier events like Overwatch League and Overwatch World Cup.
Despite the number of major events dedicated to the game, its popularity is not as high as someone may expect on Twitch, a streaming platform where numerous players broadcast their games. The prevalence of Overwatch in terms of viewership is below than other famous titles.
According to TwitchMetrics, the most viewed games for May 2019 is Fortnite with more than 102 million viewer hours. It is followed by League of Legends with more than 92 million viewer hours. The rest of the top five is comprised by Grand Theft Auto V, Just Chatting, and Hearthstone, with over 78 million, 58 million, 35 million viewer hours, respectively.
Overwatch is currently at top seven with more than 29 million viewer hours, which is still high from the over 20 million of viewer hours of Apex Legends, the newest battle royale game by EA and Respawn Entertainment.
For Dr Disrespect, the problem of Overwatch’s slightly low popularity on the streaming platform is not the gaming experience. The issue lies in the watching experience of individuals who either knows or do not know how to play the game.
‘It’s a lot of fun to play it’s just really hard to like, sit down and watch somebody play it,’ streamer explained, quoted Dexerto.
Dr Disrespect admits that he enjoyed the game. It is just the game is way more difficult to watch, compared to logging into the game and start wreaking havoc on the map. Also, his opinion is not a sole experience because he knows that other players like him suffering the same consequences when watching.
One possible reason why players like Dr Disrespect find it tough to watch Overwatch plays is how the game flows. If a new player who wants to try it out, the gameplay and the mechanics are quite challenging to learn based on video clips, whether they are long or short. As such, the best way for a player to learn about the basics and the tools of the trade is to actually play the game.
Newcomers should not be afraid to try Overwatch firsthand. Dr Disrespect explained that the game is not too complicated to understand. But just like any other game, the challenges in learning and understanding what is happening on the map is normal for those who have not played it yet.
If you connect the points of learning and watching the game, Dr Disrespect’s explanation justifies why it is difficult to watch broadcasts. When players get into the combat parts, their passion to achieve victory can daze the audience on how fast the viewing angles are shifting and how quickly they react during battle. It may take several slow motions and rewinds for a non-playing individual to fully grasp what happened in the fights.
‘They play it and they’re engulfed in it and it’s sort of this hardcore niche community which is extremely passionate about it,’ added Dr Disrespect.
The popularity of Overwatch on Twitch is still high enough to put it in the Top 10 Most Watched Games. But the move of high-profile streamers of the game, such as Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned and Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, to other streaming varieties, surely does not help in increasing Overwatch’s Twitch stats.
Blizzard ensures that the game is not forgotten by the development team. This is evident when they released the May 7 patch that includes a new map.
The map is called Havana and currently available in updated Overwatch on PC and PlayStation 4, but not on Xbox One. Blizzard confirms that the Xbox update has suffered a delay and they are fixing the problem.
For players, Havana is an Escort map wherein three payloads need to be guided through three separate parts of the map. The first area the payloads have to reach is the Havana streets. Then, they have to go to the Don Rumbotico distillery. After that, they have to be brought to the Seaside Fort. While everything seems linear, the map features several flanking points to keep competitors alert for ambushes.