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09-30-2016

Overwatch

[Update: Misfits just won it with a sick ass Tracer ultimate at the last second! Once the recaps start appearing on YouTube and Twitch I highly recommend watching the last Control match.]

ESPN choosing to air DOTA 2 for the first time was a pretty big moment in 2014, but in this era of NBA clubs buying up eSports teams, it's commonplace. That doesn't make it any less mesmerizing watching a big event for Overwatch on TBS -- I can just imagine people tuning in for a late night comedy romp only to find a screen full of apes, cowboys, and Russian bodybuilders. 

It's the Grand Finals tonight featuring Team EnVyUs versus Misfits, by way of ELeague. You can catch the tail end of the tourney now on your TV (or Twitch, you savage), which is wrapping up now with a best of five finale. EnVyUs is the favorite having tanked through some top-ranked teams (like Cloud9), but they're down right now by one match with a sort of underdog run by Misfits. Personally I'm loving the Zarya and Reaper play I'm seeing, and there's a good spread in terms of character pickrates -- Overwatch is a fun game to watch.

I'm also impressed by the production values (and the calling) especially for a game as new as Overwatch, but Blizzard is continuing to lean heavily into the eSports scene with built-in streaming, Twitch partnerships, and year-long tournaments for nearly all of its games (even World of Warcraft's arenas get some play). There's a lot of money being pumped into eSports right now, and while I see a potentially popped bubble forming, there's no shortage of cash at the moment.

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