With Riot Games doing everything they can to push away fans and eSports professionals with their bully-like business practices, it’s no wonder that there has to be a game, which gains from League of Legends’ loss. It’s turning out to be very likely that Overwatch is that game. Why? ESL organized an intercontinental tournament with a five figure prize pool, ELEAGUE is going to broadcast an Overwatch tournament on TV soon. Now, it’s been announced that OGN, the organizers of the strongest League of Legends region, are going to host an Overwatch league.
Called Overwatch APEX, the league will last three months, starting on October 7th. The prize pool? Not that great, but understandably set for a new eSports title, $200,000. The league will feature two tiers, the first with 16 pro-level teams, while the second tier will have 12… lower-skilled teams. Among the best, 12 teams will be Korean, while the remaining 4 will come from overseas, both Europe and North America. If OGN can get the strongest EU and NA teams to come over to play, it will be extremely interesting to see if Korean work ethic can overcome the (probably) more experienced EU and NA squads, celebrated as the best all over the world.
With OGN’s League events having some of the best production value in eSports, similar quality can be expected in Overwatch APEX as well, especially with the recent news that Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “Doa” Lonnquist are going to cast the tournament. This means that OGN is taking the tournament seriously, throwing their all into it. It remains to be seen whether MonteCristo and Doa are going to play a greater role in Overwatch eSports or if they are just helping out for this league.
With the trouble MonteCristo has been having in his dealings with Riot Games, culminating in him not being invited to cast at this year’s League of Legends World Championships and his partner, Doa, refusing the offer citing prior engagements, it’s very likely that the famous caster duo is arranging their ducks in a row, preparing to make the transition into a new game before the old one dies. This might be an unpopular opinion, it might even be sensationalism at its worst, but when League of Legends personalities point at the decisions made by Riot and shout from the rooftops that LoL is dying, I find myself agreeing, while I was just laughing previously. It’s sad, watching LCS is how I learned of eSports.
Enough with the sadness. If people doubted whether Overwatch could make it as a leader in the eSports industry just four or five months ago, the question is not if but when now. If you love Overwatch, this should be celebrated. Even if you don’t try it out, it’s exciting, fun, and, with MonteCristo and Doa joining the ranks of Overwatch casters, professionally covered during broadcasts. When was the last time the eSports scene shook, trying to make room for a new title? Don’t miss your chance to watch history as it’s happening.