Blizzard announce official Overwatch League

Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard

Blizzard have revealed their next move in supporting the Overwatch esports scene — an official Overwatch League beginning in 2017.

Overwatch was released in May and so far several third-party tournaments and leagues have emerged, most notably ELEAGUE's Overwatch Open and ESL's Atlantic Showdown at Gamescom. Blizzard themselves are holding the Overwatch World Cup, with the quarterfinal round set to begin today.

The formation of the league aims to bring sustainability to Overwatch esports, promising that once teams are in the league their spots are secure, and that players can expect contracts with salaries and benefits when they are signed by league teams.

"The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment in a press release. "We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved."

The first season of the Overwatch League will take place in 2017. According to Blizzard's informational video about the League, the first step will be to have team owners bid for spots. Each team "will represent major cities from different regions," according to the press release.

This is meant "to support the growth and sustainability of local fan bases," as opposed to fans always following players from team to team, as often occurs in esports. This move to a very sports-like city based system is unprecedented in esports, where organizations often struggle to retain fan support after the loss of a star player or roster.

Once the teams have been established, Blizzard will hold a combine, taking place "early next year." A combine in traditional sports is an event where athletes take part in tests of skill and drills to show off their abilities to coaches or scouts.

Players who have distinguished themselves throughout 2016 will be invited to the Overwatch combine, where they will have the opportunity to perform for team owners. The combine will be followed by a signing period before the start of the first season.

The regular season games will consist of LAN play in front of live audiences, but Blizzard have not announced any locations where League games will be held. Season Playoffs will also be held at LAN events.

Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore esports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.

Overwatch Lore: Who is Doomfist?

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard

Overwatch has captured the hearts and minds of many with its colorful cast of characters and their diverse backstories, many of which are still shrouded in questions, speculation and rumors.

And there's no character that attracts as much attention and creates as much speculative fervor as Doomfist, a hero who was one of the first to make an appearance in Overwatch lore.

Despite his impact on the Overwatch in-game universe, little is actually known about the gauntlet-wielding hero, or if he even is one.

Who is Doomfist? What is his gauntlet? What relation does he have with Numbani?

Here, we examine these questions and more by focusing on what we already know about Doomfist, and speculation on the recent Numbani attacks.

What we know

Doomfist was first mentioned in the original Overwatch cinematic trailer, showcased at BlizzCon 2014. In the cinematic, Reaper and Widowmaker attempt to steal Doomfist’s gauntlet, which is housed in a museum, but are stopped by Tracer and Winston. Almost immediately afterward, fans speculated about who or what Doomfist was in Overwatch lore. But according to Chris Metzen in an interview with PC Gamer, Doomfist was not originally meant to be a proper character, with the name only existing as a line in the original cinematic.

Yet Doomfist would continue to make appearances past his original mention. He is heavily referenced in the Numbani map, where the primary objective has the attacking team bringing the payload, which holds Doomfist’s gauntlet, to a museum exhibit dedicated to the character.

Beyond providing an image of what the gauntlet looks like in game, Numbani also reveals that Doomfist is not just one hero, but rather a title held by three separate heroes over the course of Overwatch’s backstory. Those three characters are, in order of earliest known appearance:

  • “The Savior,” Adhabu Ngumi
  • “The Scourge,” Akinjide Adeyemi
  • “The Successor,” Name Unknown

Judging from their monikers, it’s easy to infer that the first Doomfist, Ngumi, was a hero, while the second Doomfist, Adeyemi, was a villain. The Successor’s true name is written in the Omnic language and his portrait shrouded in darkness. This, combined with the vague identifier "The Successor," makes the current Doomfist's status unknowable. They may be a heroic character or a more villainous one. We do know the gauntlet that resided in Numbani's payload is that of The Scourge, who was defeated by Winston according to the original Overwatch cinematic.

In the leadup to Orisa’s hero reveal, Blizzard brought Doomfist and Numbani to the forefront once more. In a brazen attack, Doomfist assaulted Numbani’s airport and destroyed the OR15 defense units designed to protect the city. That payload containing Doomfist’s gauntlet has been destroyed, with nothing but broken glass remaining in the spot that once held the gauntlet. This attack led directly to the creation of Orisa by child prodigy Efi Oladele, who would serve to defend Numbani in the future.


Who’s to say that the Doomfist that attacked Numbani is, in fact, not The Successor, but The Scourge?

Many have assumed that Numbani's gauntlet does not belong to the villainous Doomfist, since the artwork that The Scourge shows him wielding his Doomfist gauntlet in his left hand. The gauntlet on display is right-handed.

But, Numbani's museum contains a voice line that states that the gauntlet that is to be shown in the museum belongs to The Scourge, not The Savior or The Successor. Furthermore, the gauntlet that was previously in Numbani more closely resembles the gauntlet that belonged to The Scourge, as The Savior's gauntlet is rudimentary while The Successor's gauntlet covers his entire arm. Given all these considerations, it's likely the left-handed artwork is simply an error.

In his interview with PC Gamer, Metzen expounded on the idea that Doomfist would be a generational character who would know of the Doomfists that preceded him, comparing him to The Flash and the Green Lantern from DC Comics.

This complicates matters in understanding Doomfist, as it is entirely possible that multiple characters bearing the same moniker are active at the same time. In the case of both The Flash and Green Lantern, there have been multiple characters bearing that moniker who have existed in the DC Universe at the same time. When Blizzard states that Doomfist has attacked Numbani, it does not answer the question of which Doomfist it was.

Judging by the negative connotation of The Scourge, the fact that the gauntlet for The Successor is very different from the gauntlet housed in Numbani and the unknown nature of the attack on the city, I believe that it is The Scourge that attacked Numbani instead of The Successor. That's not to say that The Successor won't make an appearance in the future, but that the story could be setting up a confrontation between the two versions of the characters as a future story beat.

Yet the mystery of The Successor likely holds a future purpose. Because the first two Doomfists feature their names and portraits, while The Successor’s identity is covered, it can be inferred that Blizzard are keeping his identity a mystery in case of a potential hero reveal. In addition, the use of Omnic letters could suggest that the current Doomfist is either Omnic or part-Omnic, though this is not confirmed.

Regardless of whether The Scourge was the Doomfist that attacked the city or not, the missing gauntlet is an intriguing story thread that should pay off in the coming months, as Blizzard inevitably prepares to tease another hero.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Overwatch's Orisa in a nutshell

theScore esports staff 4d ago

With Orisa now live and available for play, Overwatch's newest addition is sure to shake up the meta.

How will the other tanks fair against this new defender and will they be neglected in favor of Orisa?

Only time will tell but we don't imagine the other heroes are happy about the possibility of being replaced.

Thumbnail Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo / Natika

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A beginner's guide to Orisa

by 4d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard

If security is your primary concern, Orisa might just be the tank for you.

Overwatch's newest hero excels at defending objectives and providing a wide range of fire support to her allies. Though her health is comparatively low, Orisa is more than capable of creating the space her team needs to operate effectively.


Orisa's primary weapon is the Fusion Driver, an automatic projectile cannon with a rapid rate of fire and plenty of ammo to spare. While powerful, it is somewhat inaccurate, with Orisa's movement speed slowing to a crawl as you fire it.

When using Halt!, Orisa shoots a graviton charge that is activated either when it hits a surface or the ability is used again. Upon activation, the charge slows and pulls in nearby enemies towards itself.

Fortify is a simple ability, but one that is very powerful when timed properly. Taking reduced damage while the effect is active, Fortify also prevents Orisa from being affected by crowd control.

Protective Barrier is Orisa's primary defensive ability. She places down a stationary barrier that blocks a moderate amount of damage.

While Orisa's abilities are primarily defense based, her ultimate, Supercharger, is the opposite. When used, Orisa activates a device that increases the damage of all allies within her line of sight. Powerful, but destroyable, Supercharger is just what you need to end a fight before it really begins.

When is it a good time to play Orisa?

When your team needs an anchor tank

Orisa is an anchor tank, similar to Reinhardt, with her team benefiting more from grouping up and working around her. Compared to Reinhardt, Orisa is best positioned at a chokepoint or static defense location, as her Protective Barriers are immobile but last for a long period of time.

When you need a tank that can create openings

Halt! is an extremely powerful ability when used properly, as it allows Orisa to disrupt enemy formations to set up combos with her teammates, particularly when the enemy is grouped up together. It's a more difficult ability to use to its full effectiveness, but when used right, it can create space to devastate an enemy team.

Whatever you do, don't play Orisa when:

You need a mobile tank

Orisa's biggest problem lies in her lack of mobility. Beyond using Fortify to tank through damage and avoid crowd control, Orisa has no options to get out of a tough spot. Her primary weapon amplifies this, slowing her down tremendously and making her an easy target if caught alone.

You are playing offense on an Escort map

As strong as Orisa is at defending chokepoints, she is likewise not suited to attacking objectives. Escort maps, such as Route 66, will be challenging for Orisa, as her static barrier does not work well in conjunction with pushing a payload.

The enemy team is using multiple flankers

Due to Orisa's low mobility and the fact that Protective Barrier primarily defends from frontal attacks, it comes as no surprise that her biggest counters are flankers like Tracer and Genji. If they attack from the sides or from behind, Orisa will have difficulty fending them off.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Former Misfits GM announces new Overwatch team: Laser Kittenz

by 6d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Laser Kittenz

Ali "Alicus" Saba, the former GM for Misfits, has launched a new Overwatch team called Laser Kittenz, he announced on Sunday.

Laser Kittenz, which is composed of former Bench Boys players Finel "Kyb" Adisi, Luis "Greyy" Perestrelo, Sergi "Winghaven" Torras and Carl "crems" Aspehult in addition to Nikolaj "Zaprey" Moses and Herman "Nesh" Kobrin, will make their debut at Overwatch PIT Championship - Europe league on Monday, according to ESPN's Jacob Wolf.

Overwatch pro Chris "spazzo" Infante will coach the team, according to reports.

Alicus stepped down from Misfits in February, citing a desire to take a rest and look for other opportunities.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Report: Overwatch League spots could cost between $2M and $15M

Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard

A report from SportsBusiness Journal has placed the cost of purchasing a franchise in Blizzard's city-based Overwatch League between $2 million and $5 million for smaller markets, while a spot in Los Angeles could cost three times as much.

The report, which cites multiple unnamed sources, claims that Blizzard anticipated several interested parties in key cities. The report also features a comment from Nate Nanzer, the global director of Overwatch esports, about a "road show," where potential buyers will receive information about purchasing opportunities for the league.

Nanzer did not disclose the process for deciding on bids or what the cost for acquiring a spot in the league would be. He did, however, tell SBJ that the league's launch was "totally on schedule."

RELATED: Mayors, sports teams approached NRG Esports regarding Overwatch League bid

Announced at BlizzCon, the Overwatch League aims to bring a city-based team structure to the game's esports scene, forming a league with franchises that own permanent spots.

Teams would then have the ability to generate revenue locally and — perhaps even more intriguingly — foster a loyal fanbase that might stick with the organization even after their favorite player has departed.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

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