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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Overwatch Basics – Gameplay Explained

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.

The Basics of Overwatch

Some quick breakdowns of the above-mentioned terms.

OVERWATCH HEROES

TANK HEROES

  • D.Va
  • Orisa
  • Reinhardt
  • Roadhog
  • Sigma
  • Winston
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Zarya
  • Junker Queen

DAMAGE HEROES

  • Ashe
  • Bastion
  • Cassidy
  • Doomfist
  • Echo
  • Genji
  • Hanzo
  • Junkrat
  • Mei
  • Pharah
  • Reaper
  • Soldier: 76
  • Sombra
  • Symmetra
  • Torbjörn
  • Tracer
  • Widowmaker
  • Sojourn

SUPPORT HEROES

  • Ana
  • Baptiste
  • Brigitte
  • Lúcio
  • Mercy
  • Moira
  • Zenyatta
  • Kiriko

OVERWATCH MAPS

ASSAULT MAPS

Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Paris, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries

ESCORT MAPS

Dorado, Havana, Junkertown, Monte Carlo (unreleased), Rialto, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Circuit Royal

CONTROL MAPS

Nepal, Lijiang Tower, Ilios, Oasis, Busan

HYBRID MAPS

Blizzard World, Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King’s Row, New York City (unreleased), Numbani, Midtown, Paraiso

PUSH MAPS

Colosseo, New Queen Street, Esperanca

How Is Overwatch Different From Other FPS Games?

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?

Why Did Blizzard 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.

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.

How To Start Betting on Overwatch Esports

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:

  1. Choose a betting site – Some punters argue that the most difficult part of betting is selecting a bookie, as each site is different and offers unique odds on most events. On top of that, they all support a wide variety of payment methods. To determine which one you like best, you should compare the odds, payment methods, and available betting markets.
  2. Sign up and create an account – Registering with an online bookmaker is a fairly simple process – just be sure that all personal information you enter is true and accurate. Otherwise, you may not be eligible to claim any betting bonuses or be barred from accessing the entirety of the bookie's services.
  3. Set up your chosen payment method – Payment methods can vary greatly from bookie to bookie, so make sure you’ve done your research beforehand. Popular options accepted at most bookmaker websites are cryptocurrency (predominantly Bitcoin), credit cards, and e-wallets like PayPal.
  4. Take some time to research the Overwatch esports scene – Betting without knowing anything about the esports you’re betting on is ill-advised. You can drastically increase your chances of placing winning bets by simply finding out as much info as you can about past events. On top of that, it’s recommended to look into the teams and players, as well as potential roster moves, to create a viable betting strategy.
  5. Place a few bets and watch livestreams – Don’t go overboard with your bets straight away; take your time and test the waters first. Finding a livestream watching the matches as they unfold is very helpful, as this will also provide you with a certain dose of information that might end up being crucial in the long run.

Overwatch Betting Markets

  • Match Winner – One of the easiest and simplest betting markets out there, Match Winner bets require you to bet on one of two teams that you think will win.
  • Outrights – Outrights are simple in definition but difficult in execution, though the odds here are usually excellent. With them, you’ll be placing a bet on the team you think will take the whole shebang.
  • Total Kills (Over/Under) – Another simple bet that isn’t too difficult and comes with attractive odds, the over/under market for total kills (either the sum of both teams or just one team) has you choose whether you think there will be more or fewer kills than the bookie's margin.
  • Player vs Player – An enticing bet, especially for those that follow certain players closely. Here, you need to predict which one of two players will achieve more kills than the other.
  • Special Bets – Special bets are seldom found across multiple bookies, and they revolve around specific in-game mechanics. For example, the First Blood market sees punters wager on the player they think will get the first kill of the game.

Overwatch Betting Odds

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.

Top 5 Overwatch Esports Betting Tips

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!

1. Risky Bets Can Pay Off

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.

2. Keep Cool, Calm, and Collected

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!

3. Research the Overwatch Esports Scene

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!

4. Get To Know the Game Itself

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!

5. Watch Livestreams

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.

Tournament NamePrize PoolDatesWinners
Overwatch League Season 2 Playoffs$3,500,00030.08.2019 – 29.09.2019San Francisco Shock
Overwatch League 2021 Playoffs$3,200,00021.09.2021 – 25.09.2021Shanghai Dragons
Overwatch League 2020 Playoffs – Grand Finals$3,050,00008.10.2020 – 10.10.2020San Francisco Shock
Overwatch League Season 1 Playoffs$1,700,00011.07.2018 – 28.07.2018London Spitfire
Overwatch League Season 1 Regular Season$1,300,00010.01.2018 – 17.06.2018New York Excelsior
Overwatch League 2020 Playoffs – North America$625,00003.09.2020 – 13.09.2020San Francisco Shock
Overwatch League Season 2 Stage 1$500,00014.02.2019 – 24.03.2019Vancouver Titans
Overwatch League Season 2 Stage 2$500,00004.04.2019 – 05.05.2019San Francisco Shock
Overwatch League Season 2 Stage 3$500,00006.06.2019 – 14.07.2019Shanghai Dragons
Overwatch League 2020 Playoffs – Asia$325,00004.09.2020 – 13.09.2020Shanghai Dragons

Overwatch Esports Is All About the OWL

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 Cup Is a Thing of the Past

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.

Other Smaller Tournaments

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.

Most Successful Overwatch Players

PositionNicknameFull NameTeamEarnings (Total)
1stsmurfYoo, Myeong HwanSeoul Dynasty$355,350
2ndMothGrant EspeFree Agent$353,964
3rdChoiHyoBinChoi, Hyo BinRetired$352,823
4thsuperMatthew DeLisiRetired$346,114
5thRascalKim, Dong JunDallas Fuel (coach)$344,275
6thViol2tPark, Min KiSan Francisco Shock$342,067
7thStrikerKwon, Nam JooBoston Uprising$335,590
8thVoidKang, Jun WooShanghai Dragons$315,990
9thTwilightLee, Joo SeokToronto Defiant$300,558
10thGestureHong, Jae HeeRetired$294,912

Most Successful Overwatch Teams

PositionTeam NameTotal EarningsTournaments Entered
1stSan Francisco Shock$3,435,00010
2ndShanghai Dragons$2,615,00011
3rdLondon Spitfire$1,752,84521
4thNew York Excelsior$1,622,61821
5thAtlanta Reign$1,391,09814
6thPhiladelphia Fusion$1,310,44819
7thSeoul Dynasty$1,165,0008
8thLos Angeles Gladiators$964,60516
9thVancouver Titans$950,0004
10thDallas Fuel$640,0008

SAN FRANCISCO SHOCK

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

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

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.

Summary

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!


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FAQ

Overwatch Betting FAQ Section

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.

Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.

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