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Overwatch is a force to be reckoned with on the esports stage, commanding massive audiences of both fans and punters. Best of all, the Overwatch League (OWL) spans throughout the entire year, resulting in a variety of matches and plenty of action to enjoy! Our Overwatch betting guide below has everything you need to know, from the very basics to a expert betting tips.
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Even though the vast majority of fans are disappointed with the quality of changes brought forth by Overwatch 2, that hasn't slowed down its popularity as an esport franchise.
As a game, Overwatch is fairly simple when it comes to mechanics, incorporating a MOBA playstyle into an FPS shooter (Team Fortress 2 comes to mind as one of the first to have done this).
Players take control of specific in-game characters that they choose once they enter a match. Each character comes equipped with one or two main weapons and a couple of special abilities.
On top of that, there are three main categories of characters (Heroes) – Tank, Damage, and Support. The goal of each team is to defeat the enemy team in a specific way, depending on the game mode.
There are four main game modes that you can end up playing – Assault, Escort, and Control. In combination with these, you may end up playing Hybrid (a mesh of Assault and Escort). You’ll also find the ‘Arcade’ game mode that is unique, requiring experience and time to truly understand – however, it not used in pro play.
Overwatch demands quick-thinking, fast gameplay, and plenty of teamwork. It's no surprise then that the Overwatch League (OWL) is so prestigious, offering a substantial prize pool and featuring a franchised team system.
Some quick breakdowns of the above-mentioned terms.
Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Paris, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries
Dorado, Havana, Junkertown, Monte Carlo (unreleased), Rialto, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Circuit Royal
Nepal, Lijiang Tower, Ilios, Oasis, Busan
Blizzard World, Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King’s Row, New York City (unreleased), Numbani, Midtown, Paraiso
Colosseo, New Queen Street, Esperanca
FPS games enjoy lots of popularity in the esports space, with the most popular ones like CS:GO, Call of Duty, and Rainbow Six tackling a realistic approach with short TTK (time to kill) mechanics, realistic graphics, real guns, recoil control, and so on.
Overwatch is vastly different than all these games, though. If we must compare it with an FPS title, it has the most similarities with VALORANT. Nevertheless, it more resembles certain MOBA games (like League of Legends and Dota 2) because it has a strong emphasis on heroes and their abilities. That’s not to say VALORANT doesn’t have that, but in Overwatch it’s a lot more important.
The release of Overwatch 2 on October 4, 2022 didn't just bring forth improved character models, better graphics, and new game modes. It’s also completely free to play, it offers cross-game support, and will have a co-op story that’s bound to draw even more players in.
None of that takes anything away from the base game. But that only begs the question – why did Blizzard go through such an effort to make Overwatch 2?
Overwatch 2 was never meant to replace the original – it's more of an expansion into a completely different field. While it can be played as the standard game, there are major changes, such as the 5v5 switch.
However, this sequel is more of a switch to the PvE co-op gameplay mechanics, which is bound to take up more focus sometime in early 2023. In addition, a new game mode (PUSH), six new maps, and three new heroes will undoubtedly keep the game fresh and action-packed for the first season.
Content Roadmap upon Overwatch 2 launch. pic.twitter.com/E6CQIZBxK9
— Overbuff (@Overbuff) June 16, 2022
Content Roadmap upon Overwatch 2 launch. pic.twitter.com/E6CQIZBxK9
— Overbuff (@Overbuff) June 16, 2022
All in all, the answer is simple – Overwatch 2 is not just an upgrade for the original game. It’s most likely going to be an expansion into the PvE side of things, though it will keep on improving the original’s multiplayer aspects too.
The Overwatch esports scene may not have a vast number of esports tournaments associated with it, but what it can boast is the world’s first ‘truly global professional esports league’.
What this means is that each team in the Overwatch League are constant members, representing a certain global city (e.g. London, New York, Shanghai). A hundred or so matches within a calendar year mean plenty of opportunities for punters to place their bets.
It’s also worth noting that some of these teams are owned by esports organisations from countries all over the world, such as Gen.G for Seoul Dynasty, Cloud9 for London Spitfire, Misfits Gaming for Florida Mayhem, and more.
Want to know how Overwatch betting works? See below for our quick guide:
This section will be updated as we draw closer to the beginning of the new season. In the meantime, you can take a look at the results of the 2021 Overwatch League to see how the teams finished.
Now that we've got the basics of Overwatch betting out of the way, it’s time for a few more useful pointers to help you out on your journey!
While you should definitely stick to smaller bets as a beginner, branching out as you gain more experience is a good idea. As you go along and become more familiar with how things work, your appetite for and ability to cope with risk will also increase. In turn, your profits will be larger too, as more difficult wagers naturally have better odds.
Emotions can run high while betting, but things can quickly get out of hand when punters try more aggressive strategies to win back the money they lost. This is especially true if you’re a fan of a specific team – whether that team is strong or weak, it’s not always a good idea to place a bet on them just because you like them. Keep emotions out of it!
The only way to truly get better at betting on Overwatch is by getting to know the esports side of the game. This includes players, teams, tournaments, and even coaches. The more you know, the more precise your outcome predictions will be, ultimately leading to a better experience as a whole. All it takes is some research and a willingness to learn and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your winnings and improving your chances!
There’s no better method to equating yourself with other Overwatch punters than by playing the game itself. There’s only so much you can learn by reading or watching, whereas by actually playing Overwatch, you’ll basically learn all there is to know. Who knows, you might find it appealing enough to become a regular player!
Lastly, livestreams. Every Overwatch event, tournament, and match is hosted on their official broadcasting channels (YouTube and Twitch). Watching live matches doesn’t just further your own knowledge of the game, but it also provides you with an opportunity to place live bets. That’s right – some operators feature live betting on their platforms, with livestreams tremendously helpful when making smart, reactive betting decisions.
It takes no genius to realise that the Overwatch esports scene is all about the Overwatch League, a.k.a. the OWL. It’s pretty much the same relationship as Rocket League’s Championship Series, Call of Duty’s CDL, and League of Legends’ regional championships.
The bread and butter of the entire Overwatch esports system, the OWL is by far the most important circuit in professional Overwatch, and is the competition that all young and aspiring players dream of entering.
It’s also the biggest Overwatch betting stage too, with esports betting sites heavily covering the League week in and week out.
Overwatch World Cups used to be the next big thing in the Overwatch esports scene. While they did enjoy quite a lot of popularity back in the day, mainly for providing international action and stirring rivalries, they’ve been cut out from the competitive calendar in recent years.
All this means that we likely won’t see a comeback anytime soon (most likely never). But there are some smaller tournaments that break the OWL stronghold on the pro Overwatch esports scene, as we will see below.
Overwatch Contenders is the first series that comes to mind when talking about non-OWL tournaments. Having said that, the OWC is still in the OWL’s ecosystem, serving as the development stage for aspiring Overwatch 2 talents.
While there are individual Overwatch tournaments outside the entirety of the OWL system, these are small, marginalised affairs, and don’t possess the punch in terms of players and teams. We’re mainly talking about either Collegiate Homecomings or regional contests like the Saudi eLeague, China and Korea Invitationals, and other similar events.
San Francisco Shock are the absolute dominant force in the league, having managed to win two championships in the past (2019 and 2020).
They’ve also won the most in prize money – a whopping $3.4 million since their venture into Overwatch esports starting in 2017/2018. Continuing with their exceptional performances, San Francisco Shock remain the only OWL team to complete a golden stage – not losing a single map throughout!
Shanghai Dragons won the OWL 2021 Regular Season and are looking to continue their great form into 2022. However, it wasn’t always like this. In the early days of the Overwatch League, they were often touted as a ‘meme team' that always finished in lowly positions.
London Spitfire are the old guard within the Overwatch esports community, having been around since OWL’s inception. They’re also the winners of the Overwatch League inaugural season after dispatching Philadelphia Fusion in the playoffs 2-0.
With the original game already having enjoyed enormous success among both casual and pro players, Overwatch 2 is going to go down in history books as just another update to the game, not a massive standalone release that Blizzard was promising all along.
Still, that doesn’t take away from the game’s popularity. It’s still the good old Overwatch, with action-packed mechanics, slightly improved graphics, and new game modes to try out.
Even though it’s not as big of a change as everyone had hoped for, it’s still a hefty step in the right direction for one of the biggest esports betting markets out there!
The long-anticipated second iteration of Overwatch came out on October 4th, 2022. The game was released for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X/s.
Arguably the biggest difference between Overwatch 2 and the original game is in the competitive gameplay setup. The original Overwatch was a 6v6 game, whereas Overwatch 2 now features 5v5 competitive gameplay with role restrictions to two supports, two DPS heroes, and one tank.
Smurf is still the most successful Overwatch player in terms of total earnings. He’s followed by Moth and ChoiHyoBin, whose total earnings are just a couple of thousands lower than Smurf’s.
When talking about the most successful teams, San Francisco Shock has to be at the forefront. Not only are they the team with the most titles, but the team with the highest total earnings too (who would’ve guessed, eh). Thus far, San Francisco Shock have earned $3.43 million, which goes to show you just how lucrative Overwatch esports scene really is.
There’s a number of exceptional online betting platforms that feature Overwatch betting odds. If that’s exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll be happy to know the best specimens can be found on top of this page.
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