Is Overwatch Dying? Top Reasons Why The Community Thinks So

Published: Apr 27, 2024

Is Overwatch dying? That’s the question that many gaming & Overwatch fans have been asking over the past couple of years. Here’s our take on this topic with the reborn Overwatch esports scene.

Is Overwatch dying?
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So what’s behind this trend?

After years of the Overwatch League steadily declining, in terms of prize pool, viewership and general presence, it’s finally come to an end as a top franchise for an esports game. 

In January 2024, Blizzard Entertainment revealed that the Overwatch League was officially over.

With regards to the idea of “Is Overwatch Dying” – here are a few reasons why the Overwatch League failed:

Now, with the Overwatch Champions Series revealed – let’s discuss some of our concerns in relation to Overwatch betting.

1. Returning to Grassroots Esports

With the announcement of the Overwatch Champions Series, many are concerned that Overwatch is dying due to a return to grassroots esports and esports tournaments.

However, this rebirth is only good news for an esport which as lost its way. Moreover, the OWCS is a breath of fresh air for the following reasons:

The regular season now consists of online regional events in the main regions of Asia, EMEA and North America. Overall, $750,000 of the prize is on the line for the competing teams across the entire season.

However, is it enough?

2. Only Two International Events?

Overwatch Dallas Major
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment

The scale of Overwatch has taken a hit.

One clear example of this is the very few number of international tournaments.

For the 2024 season, only the following events are reaching the main stage:

Considering this, viewership may take a few years to grow back to where it used to be – that is the implication of returning to grassroots esports.

More exciting events will increase the likelihood of the community engaging, but Overwatch esports isn’t in a position to support massive prize pools at the moment.

3. Overwatch 2 Needs to Change

In the last year of the Overwatch League, everything changed thanks to the introduction of Overwatch 2.

Offering a confusing take on the meta, the community was not thrilled by the lack of updates and the stagnant meta. This has led to committed content creators leaving the scene for other titles out of frustration.

The main problem with Overwatch 2 is that both the casual and competitive communities are alienated by the current state of the game – at least one side needs to be satisfied in order to improve.

Recently, Blizzard has made the right step forward, but more changes are required.

4. Growing Esports Competition

After The Big Four, What Are The Other Top Esports Games?
Image Credits: Riot Games

With Overwatch taking a step back, and the community convinced that ‘Overwatch is dying‘, many former Overwatch fans have stepped away.

Instead, they’ve been investing time and energy into other esports which are doing very well. For example, VALORANT and Counter-Strike 2 have been enjoying massive success as the leading first-person shooter titles.

Moreover, former Overwatch professionals have also moved on to other esports and their fans have followed.

In addition, other titles such as Apex Legends esports and PUBG have been growing too – the return of Overwatch esports will involve fierce competition with other esports in the same market.

5. Microsoft Acquiring Blizzard

You might be asking yourself – how is Microsft Acquiring Blizzard related to the idea of  ‘Overwatch is dying’?

Thanks to this massive transaction, Blizzard Entertainment (who has notoriously managed esports very poorly) is no longer in the driver’s seat.

There’s hope here as this transaction has already reflected positively for Call of Duty esports. Specifically, the Call of Duty League has made huge changes which bodes well for the future.

With new management, perhaps we could see the return of old tournaments such as the Overwatch World Cup, which could be groundbreaking.

6. Please Don’t Go to YouTube

Best Esports Countries
Image Credits; Overwatch League

One very poor choice which hurt Overwatch esports, in the long run, was the partner deal Blizzard made with YouTube.

Accordingly, by broadcasting exclusively on YouTube, the viewership of the Overwatch League suffered dearly then if it were hosted on a different site such as Twitch.

In order to get back on top, Overwatch needs to stay away from future exclusivity deals which will hamper viewership.

In order to bounce back as quickly as possible, viewership needs to grow fast.

Time Will Tell – Is Overwatch Dying?

What more can we say apart from the fact that time will tell?

It’s very likely that in the next couple of years, Overwatch esports will grow but at a very slow pace. We aren’t expecting an exponential growth.

However, our response to the question ‘Is Overwatch Dying’ is simple.

Yes, Overwatch died, but it has a chance to rise back from the dead although, this will involve some time and depend on organizers making the right decisions.

Gabriel Sciberras

Since: February 7, 2023

Gabriel is a content writer and editor at EsportsBets, covering every related esports scene and topic under the sun, apart from plenty of experience in the realm of technology and gaming. When he's not covering international news, he's focused on the local Maltese scene.

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