Overwatch Players Discover New Form Of Psychological Warfare: Singing

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In Overwatch, sniper hero Widowmaker requires cold-blooded poise to play at the highest levels. You have to focus if you want your shots to cut through the chaos of battle. During a recent all-Widowmaker tournament, players figured out a hard counter to skillful Widows: loud, bad singing.

The tournament was hosted by Overwatch World Cup and Overwatch League coach Jayne, with $1,000 on the line. It was full of preposterously tense peek duels and gorgeously timed shots. Also this:


Jayne decided to listen in on comms between the competing players. Initially, he just heard trash talk, but then one of the players began singing an off-key rendition of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP,” another player immediately shouted in response.

But then something magical happened: everybody started off-key scream-singing at each other. Sometimes there were lyrics, other times there primal sounds emerging from deep within their psyches. Indeed, these country roads would take them home—and send each of their foes down a highway to hell.

After struggling to keep from cracking up, Jayne declared it “psychological warfare,” muted the voice channel, and continued commentating. While it was heartbreaking to see such a perfect moment come to an end, his ears probably thanked him for it.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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