By Nikki Wickwire
A future filled with soldiers, scientists, adventurers, oddities, and heroes awaits players of Blizzard’s popular title Overwatch which earned its place as 2016’s game of the year with its groundbreaking designs, stunning graphics, and unique play style. The team-based game with 27 characters and counting, allows for infinite possibilities that keep the players hooked. While to some, Overwatch may be nothing more than an afterthought or even a detriment to the players; in truth, it teaches many great skills. These skills can range from communication among others, being able to work as a team, and it can also enhance timely decision making.
The game’s popularity exploded after it’s formal release and the number of players grew exponentially. People from all around the world come together to take part in the heart-racing excitement. Junior Renee Weidler is a loyal player and fan. “The joining of different teams from all around is a very special occassion,” Weidler said.
The Overwatch League, which is the first major global e-sports league where the best of the best fight for a performance award of $3.5 million and a victory prize of a bonus one million, has just taken off. With many different countries being represented, the high diversity in the league calls for the mixing of many different backgrounds. On just one team, the Philadelphia Fusion, they are bringing together nine different countries. So of course, communication is key to success. Junior Jaden Gebeke is an avid player and enjoys watching the league.
“Philly’s team diversity is definitely going to help them because the Koreans on the team will be able to help the Americans progress much faster in the competition,” Gebeke said. With so many different people, the players are faced with challenges such as learning how to deal with new play styles.
Overwatch is a team based game, and many of the teams in the league appear to share a synergy that cannot be witnessed elsewhere. Played locally, the game is much more relaxed compared to the intensity of the league games.
Overwatch is rapidly making its way across the globe and bringing together people from all kinds of different backgrounds to unite them in a shared interest and will continue to do so for some time.
“I think Overwatch helps me both relax and stay competitive, but not at the same time,” Gebeke said. “I play the game because I love it, and I’ve actually started a team based in Omaha somewhat recently.”