Overwatch is Blizzard’s top competitive esport title. A blend of two genres, Overwatch draws on motivation from both the MOBA and FPS genres. A large number of players have compared Overwatch to Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Blizzard created a new fictional universe for the game with intricate storylines and lore. Players control personable heroes to battle on diverse battlefields where teamwork is essential for success.
The general game experience can be likened to a First-Person Battle Arena combined with a focus on character depth.
Competitive Overwatch games have six players on each team. Players select their characters before spawning. Teams choose compositions to enable strategic goals. Overwatch has four competitive game modes. Each map is designed for one of these four game modes.
The Escort mode is often called ‘payload.’ The aim is for attackers to move a cart (the payload) to its delivery point. The winning zone varies between maps. The payload is moved when Heroes stand in its vicinity. As more heroes from the same team stand in that range, the movement speed increases. Defenders have to prevent the payload from reaching that point before time runs out. Valve’s Team Fortress 2 has a similar game-mode with the same name.
Hybrid is a mesh between popular First Person Shooter game-modes. For the first part of the game, both teams battle for capture points. Afterwards, the game mode shifts to Escort. So, Hybrid maps, just as their name suggests, are a straightforward combination between the game modes above.
Map: Lijian Tower, Nepal, Ilios, Busan, Oasis
Teams fight for objective areas in a best-of-three challenge. Each round has an objective area. Teams make progress towards claiming said area by standing in them as a team. Each round presents a new objective area which is featured on a different part of the map.
Teams ban maps by turn. The remaining maps are used for play. Banning processes vary between tournaments. As a result, matchups can be influenced by differing tournament structures.
How is Overwatch different from other FPS
Blizzard took a completely new approach to the FPS genre when creating Overwatch. Many casual Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) players were also dabbling with First Person Shooters like CS:GO and Quake. So, Blizzard knowingly combined both game types to appeal to both.
Overwatch distinguishes itself from most other FPS by implementing story-rich characters. Most other FPS use basic classes. Overwatch has 21 playable characters. Each character has a unique ability set, usually consisting of two regular abilities and one Ultimate (special ability).
Overwatch characters separate into the following classes:
Examples: Hanzo, Pharah, Reaper and Tracer
Offense heroes are used to dish out as much damage as possible. They are also used to take out important enemy heroes. Offense heroes are fast, agile, and strong. Their Ultimate abilities are centered around killing opponents quickly.
Examples: Bastion, Torbjorn and Widowmaker
Defense heroes are tasked with placing mines and turrets in high-priority areas. They also stand in the background to give support to Offense and Tank heroes.
Examples: Reinhardt and Winston
The Tank class is used to hold ground. Tanks protect teammates by absorbing and deflecting incoming damage. They are large and slow but very powerful.
Examples: Mercy, Symmetra and Zenyatta
The Support class, as the name suggests, is responsible for helping teammates achieve their goals. For example, Supports heal Tanks and Defensive heroes to supply sustenance on the battlefield. Although Supports mainly heal, many of their abilities have other ways of helping teammates.
Unlike most other shooters, characters can be changed and swapped around during the match. Blizzard emphasized that this should be an important part of competitive play. Presumably, Blizzard desires to keep the meta game from becoming static. As a result, choosing the right heroes at the start of the game is not as important as in other establish esports titles.
Blizzard also emphasized that they encourage multiple heroes to be played at the same time. There are no competitive restrictions as to the number of duplicate heroes that can be used on each team. However, this point is constantly under discussion. Tournament organizers are known to set their own in-house rules to avoid overpowered character compositions.
Overwatch can be played on PC as well as PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Currently, competitions only take place for the PC version. Most people speculate that the highest level of play will take place on PC because the keyboard-mouse combination gives more control than console controllers. This might change in the future.
The console and PC versions cannot be played together. So, if the console version gains enough momentum to spawn a competitive scene, it would be independent of the already established PC scene. Either way, even if console players don’t compete, their interest in the game should boost PC viewership as well.
Overwatch has become a true esports powerhouse over the past few years. Many esports bet-related guides, blogs and articles discuss reviews, odds and bets. As of yet, Overwatch betting providers are not as prevalent as for games like Dota 2, CS:GO and LoL, but there is still a large portion that cover the essential Overwatch competitions.
Although Overwatch also has virtual items, they cannot be traded. This means that Overwatch betting is limited to two formats: real money and play money.
Real money betting works just like gambling on regular sports. You can deposit money through a variety of different payment methods (Paypal, Paysafe, credit card). Money is withdrawn with the same mechanism.
Betting with play money is very similar. Services abstract values by introducing their own currency. Betting currencies have fixed exchange rates with real currencies, which can be purchased on the websites before playing.
Ways to bet on Overwatch
The most popular gambling websites offer bets on multiple esports titles. These websites often implement different ways to bet, including fantasy and wagering.
Fantasy betting allows you to pick specific players. Your winnings depend on how well they perform during their games. Although you choose a fantasy team – implying a team which does not actually exist – winnings are based on real-life results. Currently, fantasy betting for Overwatch is scarce. However, many major services like Vulcun have hinted towards its introduction.
Wagering is currently the most popular Overwatch betting format. This usually takes place with real money on websites like Unikrn, Betway Esports or Arcanebet. Bettors place a chosen amount of money on the team that they expect to win. Odds are determined either based off of the total amount of money placed on each team, or by pre-created markets defined by the bookmaker.
Tournaments and prize pools
Currently, most competitive Overwatch tournaments based on a qualification system. This means that anybody can register and participate for free. Most established esports have much tighter competitive circuits. As a result, Overwatch’s betting scene can be considered relatively volatile.
At this time, prize pools are not enough to sustain players in the non-premier divisions. The best rosters however, are salaried by established esports organizations. Many believe that the prize pools will grow across all divisions quickly due to Blizzard’s prolonged commitment to Overwatch.
Overwatch created a fully franchised competitive league in 2017 called The Overwatch League (OWL). It features 20 teams representing 20 major cities from across the globe. The teams compete in a single season each year with playoffs at the end of it. During the regular season, Overwatch teams host Homestand events in their cities and compete in a Home/Away competitive format.
The Overwatch League is highest tier of competition in Overwatch and is featured at most betting providers.
Overwatch Contenders are the 2nd tier of competition in Overwatch. Most of the OWL teams feature a Contenders team as their academy team. On top of that, famous esports organizations from around the planet compete in the Contenders circuit. The league is divided in eight competitive regions consisting of a total of 68 teams. Paired with the Overwatch League both of this leagues offer over 9 months of weekly betting opportunity for the bettors.
The Overwatch World Cup 2019
The Overwatch season offers additional tournaments apart from regular team competition. In 2019, Blizzard hosted a massive World Cup event for national teams from across the globe. In 2019, there was more national teams invited to participate in the preliminary stage then ever before. Five advanced to the group stage where they joined another batch of five teams that have automatically qualified for the Overwatch World Cup. Three teams from each group advanced to the playoffs which were held at BlizzCon in the first weekend of November.
South Korea Seeks Fourth Consecutive Trophy
More teams than ever before will participate in the 2009’s edition of the World Cup preliminaries, but the tournament has a certain favorite. South Korea has prevailed in each of the three World Cups held so far and the Asian nation is among the top favorites in 2019. The seeding is based on the national ranking so when the group stage starts on November 1, all the important players will enter the race. South Korea and Canada are the top seeds, followed by France, China and the United States.
Last season, South Korea has won the tournament without dropping a match and was rewarded with a $16,000 prize. Interesting enough, Blizzard decided to offer the same prizes to all the participating teams regardless of their final placement. That highlights the organizers’ intention to make the Overwatch World Cup more about national pride, rather than prizes. Because the total prize pool is boosted by extra amounts awarded at each group stage match, the participating teams end up winning significantly more.
What to expect from Overwatch World Cup 2019?
Once again, Blizzard has decided not to reveal the sums up for grabs as the World Cup prize pool is still a secret. We can expect similar amounts to what is awarded in 2018, although the prize distribution could be different this year. Competition is going to be more intense regardless of prizes, as the participating teams are even better than those that attended last year’s event.
All the preliminary matches are scheduled for Friday, October 31, with the group stage games taking place the next day. The most successful teams will enter the Medal Round on Sunday, November 2 and the winner will be crowned on the same day.
The tournament enjoys ample coverage at major bookmakers, as this is one of the most important esports events of the year. The overwatch odds for the main event are published after the preliminaries have ended and punters can also bet live on these matches.
Twitch is once again the platform that will broadcast the World Cup live, with the live streams being available in English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Players from other countries have the option of going to the official website and access community-run channels broadcasting the action in their native languages.
Gaining an edge with Overwatch wagering
Overwatch gamblers are rewarded by following the competitive scene. The skill gap between top-level teams and new teams is still very high. Knowing which players and rosters are currently dominating will yield the greatest benefits. Furthermore, because the scene is still developing, odds are not as accurate as in other esports.
Most other bettors are just starting to learn about the competitive landscape. So, you can set yourself apart from other bettors more than in any other current esport. The best way to gain an edge with Overwatch wagering is to follow teams and players via the Overwatch subreddit and gosugamers. You can follow team rankings to gain a better intuition for wagering odds. Right now, San Francisco Shock, New York Excelsior, Vancouver Titans and Atlanta Reign are considered the best teams.
Unlike some established titles that are over a decade old, you can start to familiarize yourself with the betting landscape rather quickly in Overwatch. Odds between websites are more likely to vary. So, start early and gain an edge by understanding the betting market better than newcomers.