Overwatch's First Big Tournament Gives Out $100,000 In Prize Money

Illustration for article titled Overwatch's First Big Tournament Gives Out $100,000 In Prize Money

Overwatch’s first major international tournament was held over the weekend in Cologne, Germany. Hosted at Gamescom, Europe’s largest games trade show, the ESL Overwatch Atlanta Showdown saw competition from eight pro teams. With a prize pool of $100,000 in the balance, professional players busted out their best Tracers and most bad ass Genjis and fought for glory.

The finals came after a slew of qualifying matches that featured over 200 teams from North America and Europe. The final line was split down the middle with four European teams and four North American. Rogue, Creation eSports, Misfits, and ReUnited all coasted through the European qualifying brackets while EnVyUs, Cloud9, Fnatic, and compLexity Gaming represented North America. Absent was NRG eSports, whose roster features the popular Overwatch streamer Brandon “Seagull” Larned.

EnVyUs was heavily favored heading into the tournament, having a solid foothold in North America. However, the tournament turned out to be an absolute showcase for the European teams. ReUnited gained earlier momentum with a powerful showing against compLexity Gaming while Cloud9 fell to Rogue. They were later knocked out of the tournament by compLexity Gaming in an elimination round. In the end, it came down to Rogue and ReUnited in a stunning final match.

The tournament itself is a large step forwards for Overwatch’s competitive scene. The game doesn’t post the same numbers as ESL’s popular Counter Strike: Global Offensive matches but the sheer visibility of the Atlantic Showdown combined with absolute top notch play, highlighting Overwatch’s unique team dynamics and metagame full of hero picks and map selections made strong argument for the game’s vitality as an eSport.


The final match between Rogue and ReUnited stressed certain differences between European and North American play. Map selections featured plenty of payload maps but also featured a higher number of pure control point matches. Exciting DPS play showed a particularly methodical and brutal intensity. Rogue’s Dylan “aKm” Bigne is the best McCrees I’ve ever seen and ReUnited’s Finley “Kyb” Adisi is a terrifying Genji.

In a nail-biting final round on King’s Row, Rogue was hard pressed to answer ReUnited but managed to push down to the objective with less than a minute left on the clock, taking the match and the tournament. They brought home a grand prize of $40,000 dollars and will go down in the game’s history as the first international tournament winners. Cheers, loves! You earned it!

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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This is totally unrelated to the story, but this has really been bothering my for the past few weeks: when the hell is Blizzard going to buff Winston? He is SO CLOSE to being a good character, but he falls short in just about every category because it feels like they tried to hard to make him the everyman tank.

He’s mobile, but not nearly as mobile as D.VA and his jump has some serious issues with elevation. I think the intent was to give him the option to harass the back line or get out of danger fast, but the cool down and lack of any sort of grappling ability to get on near misses on ledges makes the jump far less useful than it should be.

His shield has a horridly long cool down, only lasts 5 or 6 seconds, and goes down almost immediately if you’re under fire. It’s virtually useless, especially when compared to anybody else’s shield capabilities (including people who aren’t even tanks!).

Not only does his tesla gun do piss poor damage, but it runs out of ammo way too quickly to be a threat to anybody but the squishiest of characters. You know something is wrong when you can 1v1 a Tracer, who Winston is supposed to hard counter, and still lose because of the shittiness of your gun (among other factors). And if you’re up against anybody with a bit more health or damage potential then you’re done. Even D.VA’s relatively weak shotgun cannons rip up targets at close range, so you’re essentially the only tank option that can’t hold his own in a fight.

His life is insufficient for what he is supposed to do. He’s a huge target, but his damage mitigation is basically nothing, he has to be right on top of an enemy to hurt them, and even if you try to jump in and jump out to just harass the enemy, you’ll usually die before the jump recharges. You’re a tank without the ability to tank anything, to the point that you’re more of a bad assault pick than anything else.

I’ve been seeing Blizzard buff and nerf various characters (sometimes the same ones multiple times!) but Winston hasn’t been touched since a hard nerf in the beta IIRC, and it shows. In my experience, he’s the least picked character, and after playing with him on and off for weeks trying to make him useful, I can see why. He’s shit, which is a bummer because he’s really close to being good in several ways. He’s almost a great counter to fast, squishy characters that also plays well in general. He’s almost a good flanker, disrupter, and sniper harasser. He’s almost a good tank with damage mitigation who can soak up enemy fire for his team and keep on trucking. He has the potential to be one of the better picks in the game, but he falls short in every way.

Anybody know if there is a Winston buff planned?