It’s been a while since we had our last edition of Picked Over, but that just gives me a great opportunity to select the real crème de la crème of Overwatch content from the last two weeks. I’ve picked out nine pieces that I particularly enjoyed, even cheating a little by lumping a few related videos together.

If you like the content from (of course you do, who wouldn’t?) then you’ll also enjoy reading or watching all of these beauties! Here’s my picks for this week:

Have Blizzard Landed The First Two Big Names For The Overwatch League?

By Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis is known for breaking stories within esports. This week he reported that two billionaires, Robert Kraft and Stephen Ross, had both purchased slots in the Overwatch League for multi-million dollars.

The other side of the coin is how this is affecting endemic esports organisations, who are allegedly getting squeezed out of the bidding process. Blizzard is clearly pursuing the money and infrastructure that major sports companies can provide - will the endemic orgs end up simply being contracted by these big names to run their slot?

Sources close to Activision Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch League (OWL) have informed us that they have already secured the involvement of two big US sporting brands. It has been communicated internally that the owners of the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, Robert Kraft and Stephen Ross, have both purchased slots in multi-million dollar deals. At this time it isn’t clear if the teams will compete under their existing brands or whether new ones will be created but with the focus on regional franchises it’s clear which territories the teams will cover.

EnVyUs Lui: "We can beat the Koreans, and definitely beat Rogue"

Dot Esports - by Elbion

I actually missed this interview when it was released and only read it recently. It’s an enlightening interview from Lui who really opens the door on what has been going on within EnVyUs as they struggled with the fall of triple tank.

MLG certainly would have been a different tournament with Lui playing instead of Mickie; with both of them on the team for APEX Season 3, fans will be waiting with baited breath to see how the giants match up against Korea’s best.

You sound confident. This is a meta where many say you can play any style you want. Do you think EnVyUs is fitting in?

Lui: I think we’re fitting in. We are doing really well against a lot of teams right now, especially teams that run dive. We basically run our own version of counter dive with triple-DPS. Like on Illios we sometimes run Widowmaker, McCree, Tracer. You might say why are we playing Widow? Well for one, Taimou is insane at Widowmaker. But think about it like this, you have Tracer doing her own thing. Mickie is usually the Tracer because Taimou is a better Widowmaker than I am. And I used to be known for my McCree, so I’m playing McCree. So when they start diving me, we use speed boost backwards and the enemy Winston and Lucio have wasted their jump and speed. So guess what? Taimou is uncontested and gets to shoot wherever he wants.


AlphaCast - with KnOxXx

This is, personally, one of my favourite Overwatch videos I’ve seen. KnOxXx has been a highly respected mind since his days leading teams to victory in TF2 and his insights are gold. Before joining Rogue, his genius was always being filtered through the prism of the English language which he has a clumsy and often amusing relationship with; in this video, he’s alongside fellow Francophone AlphaCast and giving his raw thoughts on Rogue’s triple DPS style.

Thanks to the power of English subtitles, you can see exactly how Rogue are approaching their fights, what their priorities are, and how they make decisions against other top teams. There are two videos here, one discussing their attack and the other with Rogue on defense. Click the “Subtitle / closed captions” button on the bottom right of the video to activate subtitles.

The three-point perfection of Lunatic-Hai

GosuGamers - by Nydra

Last season of APEX, it was easy to see that Lunatic-Hai were an excellent team. It was more difficult to pin down exactly why. They weren’t blasting people away with their teamfighting, they frequently had a DPS player underperforming compared to his direct opposition, and they were open to being stylistically countered as RunAway showed in their quarterfinals game.

Nydra picks out three areas to focus on, showing how excellent Lunatic-Hai were - and still are: their desire to perfect the 2-2-2 dive, their timed aggression, and their ultimate economy.

Three major traits define the contemporary championship roster of LH, with the first their pursuit of perfection in their comfort zones.

In a previous article, I juxtaposed LH with Meta Athena as the most diametrically opposed team in Korean Overwatch. At the time, Meta Athena were walking the royal road and had earned admiration through their creative use of strategy and unmatched tactical diversity. They had played almost every hero, attacked from every angle and defended in every possible way in a chameleon-esque playstyle.

LH are nothing like that. They do not adhere to Athena’s beliefs that diversity is the way to win. They believe that perfection beats unpredictability and that if they achieve excellence in something it will be incredibly tough for their opponents to find a counter, if one exists at all.

Teen Overwatch Player Goes Pro Despite Parents Taking Away His Internet

Kotaku - by Nathan Grayson

Although this article and its headline is clearly aimed at a more casual fan, the storyline of Verbo’s road to success is a gripping one and the piece is well written. Verbo and Immortals are having a turbulent time trying to stay at the top of the North American scene, but he’s dedicated to his craft.

Stefano “Verbo” Disalvo plays Lucio for Immortals, one of the best Overwatch teams in the world. He’s a shot-caller, which means he plays a huge role in leading the team. He’s also 17 years-old. Before he could become a pro, he had to overcome one very big obstacle: his parents.

When Disalvo started high school, he had no idea what he wanted to do. People around him assumed that he’d graduate, go to college and major in something, and then work a nine-to-five until his soul withered into a depleted pile of dust with a little sad face on it. But that’s not what he wanted to do. First with League of Legends, then with Overwatch, he found something to be passionate about. He decided to he wanted to go pro, even if that meant leaving his educational future in limbo. His parents didn’t love that idea.

Reinforced Analysis

By Reinforce

Reinforce has started creating analytical videos, reviewing VODs from APEX and North American tournaments in extreme detail. It’s certainly similar to flame’s now famous content but with more of a focus on the micro play, drawing from Reinforce’s extensive experience playing in top teams.

Expect to learn a lot and find yourself unintentionally exclaiming “what the HECK” in a Swedish accent. For some reason, he’s broken it into a number of playlists to make linking to the content much more convoluted: here’s Reinforced Analysis of APEX Season 3 Groups A & B and then Groups C & D, now with added North American analysis as well.

What Rogue Won: An Overwatch Story

GosuGamers - by scr1be

Rogue have been a team at the top of Overwatch since their formation. They’ve kept the same core but exhibited different identities to adapt to the progression of the game, and once again they look to be one of the fiercest teams in the world.

The organisation and the Overwatch team are now celebrating their one year anniversary. scr1be takes a look back at their journey so far and what they hope to achieve going forward.

Rogue now has the opportunity to cement themselves as best team in the world. Seeded into arguably one of the hardest groups in APEX history, the Frenchmen will be pushed to their limit with their tournament streak on the line, but the reward will not only be redemption for their hubris in Season 1, but also justification that all the work and pain was worth it.

Regardless of result, Rogue has little reason to be disappointed. In the short year this organization has existed, they have twice overcome their adversaries to become the best team in the West. They pursued the long and narrow path, perfecting their teamplay instead of turning to gimmicks or relying on the talent of a single player. With the old guard of the West still recovering from their own strife, Rogue has become - for better or for worse - the new hope for North American Overwatch. May the Force be with them.

The Overwatch World Cup National Committee Voting is a Missed Opportunity

PVP Live - by Dustin Steiner

Most community figures and fans of Overwatch agreed that this year’s Overwatch World Cup selection process would lead to a better tournament overall. Dustin Steiner of PVP Live doesn’t disagree, but considers it a missed opportunity to promote the candidates for the committees further and create interesting content for the World Cup.

Perhaps for the future World Cups, or for Overwatch League, Blizzard will have a stronger focus on creating or encouraging others to create engaging content. I would certainly have been up for a debate. Bring it on numlocked, Stylosa and the rest.

The voting page has little to no information on who each of the nominees are. They have one line to convince you to vote for them, with no link to their Twitter, YouTube, or proof of qualification. While esports fans might have some idea of who Christopher 'MonteCristo' Mykles or Eric 'Doa' Lonnquist are, it's all but guaranteed that not all of Overwatch's 30+ million players do. There's not even a picture of each of the analysts for people to make decisions based off of, should you like to be so shallow.

With just a little bit more planning, this could have been pulled off so much better. Where are the campaign videos from each of the nominees? Where are their plans on what they'll each bring to the Committee?

If Blizzard was feeling particularly ambitious, they should host a debate series going over what each of the nominated committee members are looking to do with the team - who they have in mind, the sort of playstyle they want, and their experience. You could easily liken it to a political campaign, where you should be informed about a politician's views before voting for them.