The Overwatch League Paid Tribute To Jeff Kaplan With 'Jeff' Song

Jeff “Papa Jeff” Kaplan.
Jeff “Papa Jeff” Kaplan.
Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

Last week, Jeff Kaplan announced his retirement from Blizzard Entertainment, ending a tenure at the developer that lasted for almost 20 years. Kaplan played an important role in developing Overwatch Esports, including the Overwatch World Cup and the Overwatch League. This weekend, the Overwatch League team paid homage to Kaplan with a musical tribute.

Overwatch League (YouTube)

It’s not a new song, but rather a Jeff Kaplan meme that made a comeback this weekend. During seasons one and two, the Overwatch League production package included the track in the video above, which would play during game breaks. Keen-eared fans heard the song and interpreted its musical phrase as just the name “Jeff” repeated over and over again.

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The song became a meme for the Overwatch League community. Whenever it played, viewers would flood the stream chat with messages of “Jeff Jeff Jeff.” When games were still held at the Blizzard Arena, fans would show up with homemade signs that said “Jeff Jeff Jeff,” which they would hold up whenever the song played.

The song fell out of normal rotation as the League updated its graphical and musical packages. But during the weekend’s matches, after the news came down that Kaplan was leaving Blizzard, the “Jeff” song made a comeback. Fans reacted accordingly.

Chat whenever the “Jeff” song played during the weekend’s matches.
Chat whenever the “Jeff” song played during the weekend’s matches.
Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

When asked for comment, Overwatch League public relations pointed to a tweet from a League employee confirming the song would be added to the day’s broadcast. As the game director for Overwatch, Kaplan became the face of the game, starring in the shooter’s many developer updates with his quirky “Jeff from the Overwatch Team” introduction. The song’s re-emergence is a subtle but notable tribute to the man the Overwatch League community has affectionately dubbed “Papa Jeff.”

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DISCUSSION

kamiblakrow
Blakrow

I’m still really sad we didn’t get a final “This is Jeff from the Overwatch team” and then him announcing his ‘retirement’ and introducing his replacement. It kinda makes me feel that Jeff left on bad terms, which is unfortunate. Even if you didn’t agree with every decision he made, he made you feel that he really, really cared about the game and the player base as a whole.