Well, you're stuck with me again this week. After his appearance on OverSight, Sideshow was last seen travelling to the land down under, presumably to interview top Australian team Fusion Girls and not to play with kangaroos. Admirable is currently fighting for his life in the Great Potato Famine of 2017, and with all this chaos surrounding the over.gg staff, it turns out that I am the only one who can provide you with this week's juicy content.
In a rather scathing manner, Richard Lewis breaks down the recent reports surrounding Blizzard's Overwatch League. As an esports insider with connections throughout both the sports and esports world, Lewis sheds light on a lot of perspectives that would otherwise be left in secret. Given his position during the implosion of CGS, Lewis's perspective is important to keep expectations grounded. Agree or disagree, the video is worth watching if only to understand the perspectives of many important people.
Slingshot Esports - Stephen Chiu
Esports veteran stuchiu discusses how sister teams could aid in the development in western teams after seeing how useful it has been in Korea. The article is all the more relevant with the announcements of both Team Singularity and Luminosity Gaming sister teams, which will aim to boost each other to higher levels through dedicated, regular scrims.
Matt “Flame” Rodriguez brings up that teams are having bad practice. This is caused by egos, as players like to brag about scrim results. This leads to scrims where teams play to win rather than play to practice. This isn’t the best way to practice because playing to win encourages players to fall back on the same habits and play styles used in tournaments. Teams should use practice to test different compositions or explore situations where they are at an advantage or disadvantage. Playing to win stifles growth.
A sister team gets rid of this problem as it minimizes the benefits of getting a big head. Because both teams are under the same organization, the organization can slap down any egotistical behavior and force the teams to practice without trying to win. In fact, it gives both teams much stronger control of the situation. Now both teams can give each other specific and controlled practice.
Insight on Esports
In Sideshow's last noted appearance before vanishing (hopefully for good!), he participated in Thorin and MonteCristo's OverSight podcast as a guest, discussing APEX results, European teams, Fusion Girls, pro players, and of course, your favorite game, Overw-erm...Team Fortress 2. If you're a fan of comedy and constant digressions, this is the show to watch. You should also probably watch it if you're interested in Overwatch esports.
Winston's Lab - Barroi
Barroi breaks down some of the most important aspects of teamfights in Overwatch, such as ultimate economy, relative ultimate importance, fights necessary to finish a map, the significance of first blood, and much more. With his background in statistics and all the tools of Winston's Lab at his side, Barroi sheds light on many phenomenon that should appeal to players of all levels. For instance, did you know that statistically, killing opposing McCree first ends in the best chances to take a teamfight?
All statistics need context to accompany them, and you should read the entire article if it interests you. For this reason, I will not include an excerpt—I do not want to misrepresent the statistics!
In his recurring series, RadoN's Thousand, RadoN tackles a topical issue in one-thousand words or less. In this specific issue, RadoN breaks down why Kongdoo Uncia had potential to take down tournament favorites Lunatic-Hai. While his scenario did not pan out, RadoN did pinpoint many of Lunatic-Hai's biggest issues, and his thought experiment is certainly worth reading if only for the reasoning.
A final aspect I’ll mention, before running out of my thousand words, is the mental one. EscA, previously their most clutch player, has been having a poor series one after another, and unable to contribute much, even in wins. ryujehong, who used to be an undiveable super-Ana can now get caught regularly. WhoRU, the new focal point of the squad lacks not only the years of experience in competition the rest have, but also in playing high-pressure matches. They just had their worst game of the season versus RunAway, as a huge favorite, while Uncia have already been at their worst and looked better in their last game, versus EnVyUS.
Esports Heaven - Volamel
In an interview conducted with the main tank of Misfits, Volamel explores the past of Reinforce and issues that might have hurt them in Korea. While Misfits were unable to advance past the group stages at the last APEX, Reinforce makes it clear that they will bring home plenty of knowledge and a hunger to improve even further.
Reinhardt or Orisa?
Reinhardt, I’m not just going to drop my love in favor of some new shit on the market.
Read the entire interview, there are far more insightful bits.
Gamurs - Elbion
The world is ending. Korean Overwatch is too far ahead—or so we thought! Elbion outlines why Korean teams might be so far ahead of their western counterparts in Overwatch, and why that doesn't always have to be the case. Though the situation might look grim right now, Elbion suggests that through regimented practice, regular tournaments, and more dedication, we might be able to pull a Trump card and "Make Western Overwatch Great Again."
Western Overwatch teams have undoubtedly fallen behind their Korean counterparts across the entire spectrum. Middle-tier Korean teams are taking series away from some of the best rosters the west has to offer, while the top-tier Korean squads look untouchable.
However, the west’s hopes are far from over. The player talent is still there, and many of the best players in the world across all roles are from the west. With the consolidation of teams in North America and the upcoming Overwatch League, hopefully practice quality can improve.
But that practice quality will be largely dependent on surrounding players with the support they need to succeed. Coaches, analysts, and managers, however, cannot be birthed out of thin air. I urge organizations to bring the most qualified candidates in an effort to also develop their support staff, much like you would a player. If the western scene as a whole can make incremental improvements in the coming months before the Overwatch League, then I see no reason why the western teams can’t be a dominant force in the world.