Picked Over is our feature series highlighting the best Overwatch content - or at least the best feature content produced outside the doors of the over.gg studios. Here's my personal list of the best pieces published this week in Overwatch!
Esports Heaven - by Volamel
Coaching has slowly grown within Overwatch, both in terms of size and importance. Though almost all the Korean teams have support staff, there are still many in the West without coaches on board to level up their improvement.
Volamel takes us through the qualities required to be a strong and successful esports coach, using examples from history, and highlights players and personalities within the Overwatch scene who may make excellent coaches in the future.
...To have a strong team, you need a strong leader. You need someone who is ambitious enough to believe they can be number one, someone who is motivated enough to actually put in the work and effort required to actually do it, and someone who is brave enough to step into a space plagued with uncertainty, ready to face each day's problems with an open mind. Having history within esports, not necessarily with a specific game or genre, is key when it comes to coaching. You need to know what you're getting yourself into, before you know how to direct anyone. Having that strong history in esports gives you some semblance of what goes on with young adults who play video games for a living, oddly enough coaching them is vastly different to coaching a baseball team. Some of that history even comes from being at the top of your class. After being a pro player, a select few players can and have become amazing coaches.
ESPN - By Tyler “Fionn” Erzberger
Tyler is well known for his storycrafting within the realm of League of Legends, and his first foray into Overwatch is a perfect entrance. The tale of RunAway’s journey to the APEX Season 2 playoffs, from promotions to finals, with an exuberant leader and amateur look, told by a master.
While we all know now that their run was ended in the final map of the best-of-seven by Lunatic-Hai, the final ended a great story within Korean Overwatch that deserves to be remembered.
...On the other side of the stage, the camera pans to a team not dressed in traditional sports-looking uniforms. Instead, we see six men wearing bright pink sweaters with their team's name, RunAway, printed on them. The man in the center of the team, the oldest of the group, begins to dance, emulating the character Lucio from the game, and his teammates follow his lead, laughing at what they've gotten themselves into. The dance leader continues to move, shooting his arm outward, and his team follows him once more by layering their hands atop his. He shouts loud enough to match any fan of Lunatic-Hai's, throwing his hand up in the air in unison with his team, high-fiving one of his juniors before entering the booth to play the strongest team in South Korea.
This is RunAway. They have no team house. They have no analysts. They're not supposed to be here on this stage with Lunatic-Hai, but here they are, dancing, to the horror of any K-Pop star who might be watching.
But they don't care -- they're here, and that's all that matters.
Ryujehong can rightly stake claim to the title of “world’s best Ana” after his MVP performance in the APEX S2 finals. This interview was conducted shortly beforehand; get to know the man behind the eyepatch and sniper rifle.
Dot Esports - by Elbion
Elbion takes a slightly different approach in his preview of the APEX Season 2 final, focusing on the stylistic matchup in this clash of the titans rather than their background and storylines.
Both of these teams have changed over the course of the last four months; RunAway added new firepower to their roster after making it out of promotions and realised the brilliance of Runner, while Lunatic-Hai were forced into using EscA, Zunba, and WhoRU after the loss of Dean and Leetaejun. This season could have gone in many different directions, as the finals could have also, with certain players taking the spotlight at different times.
...The secondary DPS player of Lunatic-Hai Kim “EscA” In-Jae had an underwhelming season. EscA used to be the most impactful DPS player on Lunatic-Hai but is now overshadowed by Whoru and Miro’s carry performances. His game impact was hardly noticeable and frequently a point of weakness for the roster.
Heading into the semifinals Lunatic-Hai was facing Meta Athena, a match that by no means was won. Meta Athena had been having a storybook season and if Lunatic-Hai wanted to defeat them it would take something extra. EscA was that extra.
In likely the best series of his life EscA put on a dazzling Tracer performance, and was a huge factor in dismantling Meta Athena. Because of this, EscA will be the x-factor against RunAway.
This is a beautifully candid look behind the scenes at our APEX Season 2 competitors. From the hardships and the struggles to the thrill of a victory, OGN has captured the feelings that make esports player storylines engaging.
As a side note now we’re at the end of the season, the shoulder content for OGN has been fantastic overall. Their interviews, Open Mic segments, hilarious interludes in the finals with Jenga and saxophones, and now this piece have all helped us see behind the hero to the player.
Gamespot - By Tamoor Hussain
This interview with Jeff Kaplan isn’t the most revealing ever, but I did find it worth reading. Along with the casual questions designed to showcase the personality of everybody’s favourite developer, Jeff is also enticed to comment on map and hero bans, balance design, and a range of other topics which sheds light on his broad philosophies.
Do you have an upper limit for how many heroes you want in the game? At some point balancing is going to become an impossible task, right?
I don't have a number in my head. It's funny because when we first came up with the game concept we had a really huge number in mind. And then we kept shrinking that number and now we're more evaluating things almost like an evolving process. Each hero that comes out makes us evaluate how much time it should take for the next hero to come out. I really do feel that we should not be in a mode where we're shooting to have one hero a month or something like that. MoBAs need to do that because of the type of gameplay they have and the business model. I think we need to take a step back from hero development in Overwatch and really evaluate what it does to the meta--but also there's some other factors.
One of the factors is our time and attention. The more heroes we add, the less attention we're giving to the existing 24 heroes that are already out there. Then also I think there's something that's really valuable in player affinity for a hero. That has to do with how the hero looks, the backstory, their relationships with other heroes in the game, and I feel like the more heroes we add the less we can invest in each hero that already exists.
So, I would like to see hero development not go any faster than it currently is and maybe over time even slow down somewhat. I want each hero to feel like a really special event where you're just so excited, they fit in, and once they're added, it feels like they were always meant to be there. [I don't want] to get into a mode where we're like, "What's the hero of the week" and they start to homogenize with each other or take away from each other.