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Overwatch

Overwatch review

Heroic effort

120

Overwatch: Sombra abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play Overwatch's hacker

13

Overwatch: Ana abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play the support sniper

11

1 week ago

Feature: You could say their dominance came as a... Shock

Know It OWL: San Francisco Shock Special Edition

The thing about writing a column about the Overwatch League is that you have to be selective. There are 20 teams playing 16 games per week, so you necessarily have to pick out certain stories to follow and let others fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, that means that I have barely mentioned the team who just became our stage two champions, San Francisco Shock. Oops.…

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2 weeks ago

Feature:

How one deaf Overwatch fan is trying to make the game more accessible

If you’re tuning into the Overwatch League’s stage two playoffs this weekend, you might see a video featuring 14-year-old Danik Soudakoff. Soudakoff is an attendee of some of the games in the Burbank arena, a fan of the Los Angeles Valiant, and deaf. When attending games, he gets an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to keep him informed, and he’s been a part of creating…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: OWL on the road

Know It OWL: Crowd pleasers

This week of the Overwatch League saw teams travelling to Dallas for what was advertised as “The First Home Game” (apparently the two separate teams that represent Los Angeles don’t count). Four thousand fans packed into the Texas arena, cheering for Dallas Fuel and splitting in two (if somewhat unevenly) when it came to the showdown against Houston Outlaws. It was a dry run, in…

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1 month ago

Feature: Where in the world

Overwatch’s Cuban cars highlight a dedication to aesthetic over context

The latest Overwatch event, Storm Rising, takes our shooty-bang cast to Havana, Cuba, and the full escort map is available to noodle around in on the test servers before its launch in a couple of weeks. Like all of the game’s locations, it uses shortcuts to communicate place within the necessary constraints. There’s a rum distillery, of course, and a large sea fort presumably based…

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Feature: Let's talk about Justice

Know It OWL: The ups and downs of the Overwatch League fandom

We talk a lot here about the people who make the Overwatch League go around: players, staff, casters, analysts, production crews, photographers, and so on. It’s sometimes easy to forget, though, that any sport is also propped up by its fans, for better and for worse. This week, that fact was brought to the forefront by one retirement, one hometown clash, and a lot of…

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Feature:

Know It OWL: Overwatch League stage two stirs things up

Welcome back to the Overwatch League! After a week off, it’s a new stage, a new patch, and just as much chaos. What’s the meta? I have no idea but “bunker comp” seems to be popular so let’s break that down first before turning our attention to how teams are dealing with this strange new world. Unsurprisingly, it’s the already chaotic Chengdu Hunters who seem…

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2 months ago

Feature: Overwatch League puppy bowl when?

Know It OWL: Stage one small talk with the teams

This week there weren’t any Overwatch League games, as the players took a well-deserved rest. But with stage one done and dusted and last week being all about the playoffs, we’ve been doing an awful lot of talking about pure results. That’s fine and all, but it’s hardly the only thing to care about in the League (otherwise we’d all just be Titans fans). So…

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Feature: A farewell (?) to Goats

Know It OWL: Stage one showdowns

The Overwatch League stage one playoff finals will “probably be the Vancouver Titans and New York Excelsior, but this stage has been so topsy-turvy that I’m willing to eat my words,” said I, last week. So here I am, munching, because it was yet another week of upsets culminating in an incredible showdown between San Francisco Shock and, well, still Vancouver Titans. Apparently no amount…

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Feature: Once a Dragon, always a Dragon

Know It OWL: Playoff places and some long-awaited Justice

Without the Shanghai Dragons playing this week, I thought it might finally be the week I didn’t cry at the Overwatch League. But I forgot that there was an ex-Dragon, still yet to win, continuing his losing streak on struggling expansion team Washington Justice. And thanks to Chon “Ado” Gihyeon, despite it being the final week before playoffs, it once again became one in which…

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Feature: There's always next stage, Valiant

Know It OWL: big stories, small moments

We're just a few matches away from the end of the Overwatch League’s first stage, and we're finally beginning to see which teams will make playoffs and which are truly struggling. But in between the high-level stories are the smaller moments, many of which took place outside the game itself: a kindly text from a player's mum, a motivational speech by Symmetra's voice actress Anjali…

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3 months ago

Feature: This post is sponsored by the gold objective time medal

Know It OWL: One weird tip for winning your Overwatch League games

Spare a thought for the Overwatch League players this week. Bamboozled and led astray by last week’s upsets, they are wandering around the maps with no regard for the fact that, and I cannot stress this enough, you have to stand on the point in Overwatch to win the game. It doesn’t matter what map type we’re talking about, they are all about objectives and…

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Feature: That'll learn ya

Smarter Than I: can an AI coach you on your Overwatch play?

I dream of a future where robots teach me how to get gud. A future where algorithms can pinpoint my every mistake, and tell me exactly how to avoid them. Software that learns as I do, offering insights beyond the reach of mortal minds. That doesn't exist yet. But its predecessor just might.

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Feature: I told you this week was Shanghai's week

Know It OWL: Confusion and celebrations in the Overwatch League

This week a lot of people have been asking me which teams are shaking out as the ones to watch in this season of the Overwatch League, or how their favourites are doing. The answer to these questions is always: no one knows, every single team has either caused or suffered an upset (or both!), and everything is chaos. Except for the New York Excelsior,…

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Feature: Next week, Shanghai

Know It OWL: The Overwatch League Awakens

Week one of the Overwatch League is over – though teams did their best to make it last as long as possible. With control maps going down to the wire, extra rounds being tacked onto what felt like every capture point map, and many matches needing a tie-breaker fifth game, there was a whole lot of competition, both in terms of raw minutes and in…

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Feature: Listen to these echoing gunshots

Podcast: Guns, guns, guns

 Bang bang, listeners. This week we are talking about the greatest guns, the wackiest weapons, the most fabulous firearms, all in a serious and knowing fashion on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. The pod squad are stocking a chest full of videogame firearms, like three frightening quartermasters. Matthew is sequestering a laser pointer from Gears of War, Alice wants the exploding teddy…

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Feature: Goats will eat anything, you know

Know It OWL: Goat herding in the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is finally back tomorrow*! Before that, though, we've got plenty to cover: a turbulent preseason showing, last minute player issues, and a look at the most exciting upcoming games. First, though, we’ve got to talk about Goats.

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4 months ago

Feature: From Atlanta to Washington

Know It OWL: Previously on the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is a complicated thing. Who could be expected to keep track of 20 teams with nearly 200 players, playing 16 games per week using 29 heroes? Well, this freelance lifestyle has to be good for something, and that something is going to be synthesising the whole thing down into weekly bite-sized pieces for you, dear reader. So hi! Welcome! We’ve got some…

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5 months ago

7 months ago

Feature: "We’re definitely working our hardest to make sure that people realise the value of all people."

How Immortals are tackling inclusivity in the esports industry

In 2014, Noah Whinston was struggling to see why he should support any specific esports team. He felt as though each was only branding itself on how good their players were, and, as he puts it, “no team wins forever.” In the same year, Sabrina Wong attended her first esports event: MLG Anaheim. Thousands of fans watched hundreds of professionals face off in a variety…

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8 months ago

Feature: Whistlestop tour

The Overwatch League’s city-based ambitions finally make sense to me

The Overwatch League has been busy in its off-season, announcing eight new teams that will join the competition when it starts back up again in January. Like the 12 that came before them, each will bear the name of a city: Paris, Guangzhou, Vancouver, and so on. But, for now, they’ll continue to play entirely from Blizzard’s arena in Burbank, California, with no real connection…

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