It’s fair to say Overwatch has drawn global attraction during its first week of launch.
A number of competitive tournaments have already taken place and involved the UK in some form, from ESL tournaments to TakeTV’s invitational and MCM London Comic Con.
On Friday May 27th, ESL opened up its first European tournament to all teams. The tournament had 353 teams checked in from across Europe and beyond, along with roughly 32 teams being UK majority.
Despite the UK teams not progressing to the finals in any form, the UK had two teams exit in the RO32: Team Asunder and High Noot (which has former UK League of Legends players Billy “Nutri” Wragg and Jamie “Tundra” Duthie). The final UK team to exit during the RO16 was Sterling.
Teams had a mix of familiar faces from a number of different competitive backgrounds.
George “Caspa” Stephens from Team Sterling had this to say on his Overwatch competitive experience: “Being on a team in Overwatch is fairly different to what I’m used to. Coming from an Unreal Tournament background, I’ve been playing CTF and TDM for years – payload objectives were quite a new concept to me but it has been really fun to play something new.
“There’s more co-ordination needed in this game than something like UT and it feels awesome when you come out of an important teamfight as the winner. I’m really looking forward to playing more cups and tournaments again.”
The TakeTV invitational also started on Friday May 27th. This invited top competitive teams from pre-launch to compete for $5,000, including the UK’s own Seb “numlocked” Barton (another former League player) on Creation eSports.
Creation entered the final against Rogue through the winner’s bracket, but lost 4-3 to Rogue in an exciting best-of-seven series.
The stream peaked at 26,000 viewers in the final moments of the stream.
John Sargent interviews numlocked before the finals (Source: screengrab from the TakeTV stream)
“There’s more co-ordination needed in this game than something like Unreal Tournament and it feels awesome when you come out of an important teamfight as the winner. I’m really looking forward to playing more cups and tournaments again.”
The other Overwatch tournament of the weekend was at MCM London Comic Con. The tournament had eight signed up teams, with some of the names recognisable (if not all) from the ESL tournament on Friday.
Tom “Tridd” Underwood and Lews “LewBae” Apps hosted an entertaining first co-cast for eager viewers online and at the convention. Considering it was nowhere near the size of the ESL UK Hearthstone stage running alongside it, the Overwatch tournament drew strong crowds.
Here is one of our favourite moments from their cast.
Lewbae/xILubez (left) and Caster Tridd (right) at the end of a semi final round (source: screen grab from the MCM eSports stream)
On the UK Overwatch Facebook page, we’ve seen perhaps the first of many posts of players showing their skill set for the game. There have been several players looking to get involved in the competitive scene and join a UK-based team.
Above: A screen grab of the UK Overwatch Facebook group with interest towards the competitive side of the game.
With a strong opening weekend and sizable interest passing over into the new week, perhaps we shall see a lot more things to come for competitive Overwatch and the UK scene within the game.