The more I listen to podcasts, read Reddit or the forums the more things are starting to take shape with Overwatch fans: They all fear Korea. If the team that was dominant last tournament isn’t doing so well in a new tournament they must be on the way to disbanding.
Let’s start with the fear of Korea and go over why it’s time to throw that mindset out the window.
Numerous podcast hosts and commentators on the forums have this deep dark shadow lingering in the back of their mind whenever an Overwatch tournament starts: Who is going to be second to South Korea. This is why the the Overwatch league needs to be a shining beacon of light to snuff out that shadow.
What do Tom Brady, Lebron James and the New York Yankees have in common with South Korean Overwatch teams? They can be beaten, have been beaten and will continue to be human and lose games. This irrational fear that whether it’s a professional team or a World Cup team they won’t be able to beat South Korea needs to stop. The fear only hurts the Overwatch professional scene in the long run.
As a Cleveland Browns fan, I know first hand how hard it is turning on a game going against statistically a better team, but that’s what makes it exciting. When the Browns pull off an upset it’s the best feeling on game day and as bad as they are they still manage to pull off these upsets and that same thing can and will happen in Overwatch esports.
With Seoul signing Lunatic-Hai I know a lot of fans are worried that season one of OWL will just be a freebie to Team Seoul since they have the teamwork and time together the other teams will be lacking.
Now is the time for fans to start planting their flags in teams whether it’s because it’s your home team or they have a player that you really enjoy watching. Just don’t be the dreaded bandwagon fan and just claim who ever is the favorite to win it all. Claim your teams and don’t back down on your fandom for that team. Get a jersey, have viewing parties, paint your face! Just be the fans that every major sport has and loves to embrace.
That brings us to the team consistency through tournaments and why it’s OK that the best team one tournament may be the worst in another.
EnvyUS has been a force in North America. However, despite winning Apex Season 1 they ended up not making top three in Apex Season 3. This is a great gauge on what we could see and frankly should see when OWL launches. No one wants to watch season after season of the same team winning. If we have the same team whether it’s the Seoul team, or the Dallas team, or any other team in the OWL winning season after season it will become boring for most viewers and cause people to turn away from the league.
Perfect season don’t exist in real life sports, they are the achievement that each team strives for but knows it’s the unicorn they may never catch. Esports have numerous tournaments that a team just steam rolls to a perfect record and after a while it gets boring, until the record has been unbeaten for season then an underdog makes a run at it. That’s exciting, that draws viewers that typically wouldn’t watch that sport, I hate baseball but when the Cleveland Indians went on a 22 game win streak. It’s the longest win streak but not the longest unbeaten streak, I know it’s confusing but it even had me paying attention to the Indians because it was rare and could make history and they did.
This is what we need to have happen in OWL. Teams need to fight with fury and rage no matter the opponent, don’t allow the season to become ran by one or two teams. Underdogs need to crush the favorite of the match just to remind the fans that anything can happen and they should not miss a single match.
Fans, it is your duty to your team to build rivalries with other fans, boo those teams and cheer for your team so they can’t hear the boo’s of the opponents fans. Seattle Seahawks fans are called the 12th because when an opponent comes into their stadium they have to deal with a loud crowd that causes them to miss audibles and snap counts, that’s the difference a die hard fan can have, be your team’s seventh man when your team is home.
The only thing you should fear is not having a team to call your own, and when you have that make it known that no team or fan base will out do you.