Home Gaming Community update: Has Overwatch died in South Africa?

Community update: Has Overwatch died in South Africa?

4 min read
57

Earlier this week I asked a rather tough question regarding the future of comeptitive Overwatch in South Africa. What followed was an onslaught of suggestions and interesting discussions as to what the real problems are, and there are a couple. The usual “no South African” servers debate arose, but that’s just one problem of many.

The issue with South Africa not having servers is always a heated debate since it is essentially a double edged sword. While yes, it will increase the player base, there is the off chance that it will stagnate competition and skill in South Africa. We’ve seen it with most competitive titles like Dota 2 and CS:GO. The other unfortunate edge is that for Blizzard to bring servers here there needs to be a steady player base which we currently do not have. We saw this with the recent visit from Riot’s Global Strategy Team who saw little promise in South African League of Legends.

The premise of this article is to highlight some of the comments made by members of the community who still feel Overwatch has a shot, adding their thoughts on what needs to be done.

Nathaneal Slabbert is the co-founder of nAvTV, one of South Africa’s leading eSports broadcasting companies. He’s right in his comment that more tournaments with bigger prize pools could bring some much needed attention to Overwatch, but we’ve tried this before…

Alwyn Venter, owner of White Rabbit Gaming, brought forward an important point. Last year NAG and nAvTV hosted a Heroes of The Storm tournament at rAge which saw top tier production, booths, and South Africa’s then best HoTS teams. After that the game died a sudden death, and it did not have an active community. As I explained to Alwyn, Overwatch does have a very active community, and that’s solely the reason behind this article.

hots at rage

Heroes of the Storm booths at rAge.

Another great insight came from Leendert Viljoen on Facebook. Leendert has been an active member of the eSports community for several years adding weight to his opinion on the current suffering of competitive Overwatch in South Africa.

“The reason Overwatch is dying here is because teams that are looking for new members are extremely picky and don’t want to give just anyone a chance, even if they have the skills to show it. There are a lot of players who want to join a team but don’t want to run a team.

Teams bring up past experiences from old game titles where they might have ran into someone from the community who were not “up to skill” in that specific title and now they assume it carries over to this one. Last time I checked LoL and Overwatch are two different types of games. People need to pull their ego out their arses and start working together otherwise there will never be anything more then the Orena ladder.”

This is probably the most important comment, and something I did not originally consider when making my first article. Every single day I see people posting in the Overwatch South Africa Facebook group looking for teams. Of those players who asked, a team of six could easily be made. There is a huge superstar mentality in South African eSports where some players think they deserve a spot, but aren’t willing to put their McCree where their mouth is.

To summarize it, we need more tournaments, players need to be more open minded when looking for teams and players need to drop the ego when searching for teams. I truly feel Overwatch has a shot as a competitive eSports title in South Africa, but there are only so many articles I can write to try bring to light the issues which are not foreign to every eSport in South Africa. The only way we can move forward is if we work together. The time to sit around and wait for something to happen has expired, and if rAge’s eSports influence taught me anything this weekend, it’s that teamwork makes the dream work.

Like esports?
Check out esports central

Last Updated: October 13, 2016

57 Comments

  1. Lourens Corleone

    October 13, 2016 at 14:34

    I like how articles like this only take a small fraction of the community into consideration.

    As far as myself and my usual Overwatch cronies go, the community is alive and well. Perhaps not massive, but considerably bigger now than it was two-three months ago.

    Perhaps the question is how many OW players are interested in a high-level competitive tourneys, as opposed to just being regular and relatively casual friends-orientated OW players.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 13, 2016 at 14:38

      You on console/PC?

      Reply

      • Lourens Corleone

        October 13, 2016 at 14:42

        Console.

        Quite a few of us on there, and while console players are hardly the heavy competitive type, we wouldn’t mind a platform on which to connect with other console OW gamers.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          October 13, 2016 at 14:44

          I really would not mind jamming with a group of regulars, on PC.

          Played the new PvE event last night, loved it, played some random matches, mixed feelings about those

          Reply

          • Lourens Corleone

            October 13, 2016 at 14:46

            One or two of my console OW crew player on PC as well, they are out there! I think the problem is getting all the OW players in RSA under one umbrella, so they can form groups that suit their play style. We end up recruiting UK players.

          • Admiral Chief

            October 13, 2016 at 14:57

            I want to link the guys on the Lazygamer Steam group, make an OW group there, where everyone can share Battlenet usernames so that we can jam

          • Lourens Corleone

            October 13, 2016 at 14:58

            Might not work for the console players 😛

          • Admiral Chief

            October 13, 2016 at 15:08

            A pity

            🙁

          • Viper_ZA

            October 13, 2016 at 14:59

            How does one get an invite on the steam group? 😛 Sorry, I have 100 titles on steam but not part of any errr “elite” few? 😀

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 13, 2016 at 15:00

            http://steamcommunity.com/groups/lazygamer – no invite required 😀

          • Viper_ZA

            October 13, 2016 at 15:01

            Thank you! Sweet, done xD

          • Admiral Chief

            October 13, 2016 at 15:08

            Yeah man, join up!

          • R1ker

            October 14, 2016 at 07:39

            If you do please add me. Also going by R1ker in Battle.net. Luckily You are allready on my friend list in steam 😉

          • Admiral Chief

            October 14, 2016 at 08:17

            Sent you msg on steam, you can reply there

          • R1ker

            October 14, 2016 at 08:52

            Shot thanks. Will reply this afternoon when I get home 🙂

          • Admiral Chief

            October 14, 2016 at 10:26

            I see there is a Overwatch Discord channel too

          • Viper_ZA

            October 13, 2016 at 14:47

            PvE? I haven’t played in a while 🙂

          • Matthew Holliday

            October 13, 2016 at 14:51

            Im looking for some more regular PC players to jam with aswell.
            will comment here with my username after work (cant remember it offhand) can add me if you’re down to jam

          • Deceased

            October 14, 2016 at 10:28

            I’d love to jam a match or more ( depending if I’m worthy 😐 ) with you – on PC 😛

          • Admiral Chief

            October 14, 2016 at 10:42

            Awesome, are we maatjies on Steam?

          • Deceased

            October 14, 2016 at 10:44

            I want to say yes – but sadly, I don’t think so 🙁

          • Admiral Chief

            October 14, 2016 at 10:42

            I’ll send my BattleTag to you there, or you can just join the Lazygamer Steam group and msg me there

    • Pariah ???

      October 13, 2016 at 14:41

      See here’s the deal: only a small fraction of any eSport community is involved in actually participating. The spectating comes after. Right now only those who would or would like to get involved are relevant. The problem isn’t the spectators. Not yet. The problem is everything before that.

      Basically we need more people to step out of that casual and get involved. Of course, only those who want to. But more people need to step up instead of just complaining that “there’s nothing”. If there’s nothing and you’re interested, do something.

      That is the point of articles like this. To get people to step up.

      Reply

      • Lourens Corleone

        October 13, 2016 at 14:45

        Good point, but the eSports scene isn’t really for everyone, BUT if there was more unity among the RSA OW community, or a platform for them all to communicate, I think you’d see the top tier players automatically shift into a competitive scene.

        Often the problem is finding other players – we have a community of say, 10 OW players. How do I connect with others?

        Reply

  2. Viper_ZA

    October 13, 2016 at 14:42

    Must be honest, I have too many games & too little time to play them all. I do enjoy playing OW on PC occasionally, but only casual.

    Playing competitively you need time & discipline, I never seem to have enough time for all my games :<

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 13, 2016 at 14:44

      This is true

      Reply

  3. Archdruid Kromas

    October 13, 2016 at 14:44

    Okay … right now the discussion is not to have ZA servers but rather Blizzard peering servers. This means that while we won’t have 30ms pings we will have stable 150ish ms STABLE pings to the usual EU servers. A viability study has been conducted and more stuff is on the way.

    Just thought I would throw that out there.

    Reply

    • Lourens Corleone

      October 13, 2016 at 14:48

      Nice

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 13, 2016 at 15:09

      Cool!

      Reply

  4. Matthew Holliday

    October 13, 2016 at 14:48

    I still say its WoWs fault.
    Simply being on bnet is enough of a threat to all blizzards other games.

    Reply

    • Pariah ???

      October 13, 2016 at 14:52

      WoW and Overwatch are 2 very different games. While WoW has an enormous user base, I don’t think it competes with Overwatch. Competitive team-based FPS and MMORPG are so different in both taste and gameplay that I cannot agree.

      Personally I look at WoW, even as a long time fan, and I have 0 interest in installing it. Now if Overwatch was free I’d have been playing that already. Whether or not I stayed would be another matter, but I can’t say since I’ve not played it.

      Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        October 13, 2016 at 14:56

        Game styles have nothing to do with it, its more of a “one person can only play one game at once” thing
        I had a group of 4 players that I jammed with, when season 2 was about to start, we were all like “yeah man, gna grind that competitive mode bro, we wont play WoW” then WoW was released and I logged on to see all my friends in the middle of a dungeon during the usual overwatch time, lol

        Reply

        • Pariah ???

          October 13, 2016 at 14:59

          lol but that’s a personal thing. If you’re into WoW and Overwatch, then fine. But then Overwatch was always a distraction while you waited for WoW (seriously, people should stop lying to themselves). But if you’re into Overwatch and WoW isn’t your thing, then WoW can advertise full screen and you’ll just look for that close button and move on with your life. The only real crossover is WoW fans who also play Overwatch.

          That’s my point, really.

          Reply

          • Matthew Holliday

            October 13, 2016 at 15:05

            Oh ya sure, they arent competing for sales or anything.
            It was only said HALF seriously.

            Both things being blizzard titles is sorta relevant though. Overwatch and WoW players do sorta overlap because Blizzard fanboys are a real thing.
            Blizzard have always spaced their game and content releases so as to not effect sales of their current titles.

            I do feel like this WoW expansion has had an actual effect on their current title.

          • Archdruid Kromas

            October 13, 2016 at 15:25

            I feel you man. I have not touched the new season in Diablo and pretty much have not touched Overwatch because of Legion.

            But then again if say Mass Effect was released right now instead of next year March I would not be playing WoW either. 😛

          • Matthew Holliday

            October 13, 2016 at 15:59

            WoW is a black hole, where hours of your life disappear, never to be seen again.
            Mass Effect is an art gallery, where you can put your hours on display and look over those hours with a heart full of joy.

          • Archdruid Kromas

            October 14, 2016 at 08:15

            This needs so many upvotes!

  5. Lourens Corleone

    October 13, 2016 at 14:52

    On topic of this discussion, if there are any PS4 OW players who are looking for groups, send me a message on PSN: KransZA.

    @Lazygamer – I wonder if there is a way to form a more coherent OW community?

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 13, 2016 at 15:08

      Lagz Steam group is active, so we could organize from there?

      Reply

      • Lourens Corleone

        October 13, 2016 at 15:13

        Might not work for the console players…hmmmm. A forum perhaps?

        Reply

        • Kervyn Cloete

          October 13, 2016 at 15:25

          There is a Lazygamer PS4 group… but most of it is just @rincethis spamming pics of the Witcher 3 😀

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            October 13, 2016 at 15:30

            Ewwwwwwwwww Redstorm

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 13, 2016 at 15:33

            Would that not make him RinceTriss?

          • Lourens Corleone

            October 14, 2016 at 09:29

            Damn gingers!

  6. David

    October 13, 2016 at 15:16

    Comparing anything to the outcome of Heroes of the Storm is interesting.

    DotA2 and LoL are big enough that HotS needed to be fan-flipping-tastic, but it’s middling. The response to Overwatch from the mainstream is MUCH better. But yeah, the community I’m involved with is vibrant, but it’s unorganised – no one I know who plays regularly is interested in an organised tournament setup.

    Reply

    • Viper_ZA

      October 13, 2016 at 15:19

      Throw money & prizes in a mix and the attitudes will start changing 😛

      Reply

    • Lourens Corleone

      October 13, 2016 at 15:21

      O HAI

      Reply

  7. Comeau

    October 13, 2016 at 16:00

    I’m very keen to trade Battletags with anyone else who regularly plays on PC. It’s pretty much the only game I’ve played since it was released. I find myself solo queuing 90% of the time and the other 10% I spend with a bunch of random French friends I made in game, so playing with more locals would be sweet.

    Reply

    • Bob

      October 13, 2016 at 18:36

      So lets go! SouthAfrican#21158

      Reply

  8. Dane

    October 14, 2016 at 08:35

    With few MGOs picking up all the best players, it means there are only 3-5 teams actually competing at a premiere level. I believe it will happen in all new titles. Watch when BF1 drops. Pulse, xtc, etc, they’re all going to be scouting/re-recruiting and after a month or so, the top 20-30 players in the country will belong to 3-5 teams. No one else will be able compete at their level and it stales out in our small community.

    This is the case in established games like CS:GO and Dota, but it’s different when it’s like this from the start. There is no room to shine as a diamond among stones when you’re competing against other diamonds among other diamonds.

    Reply

    • Sean McCalgan

      October 14, 2016 at 08:53

      In the case of OW, there are only a few MGOs involved at the moment, while many teams started from scratch when the game released. From my first hand experience the bar is not very high competitively yet here, so I don’t think you’ll have a multitude of crushing defeats like if you were to face the top teams in other titles presently.

      Overall, I think one issue may be that a lack of South African servers means that it becomes more difficult to spot local talent. If you were on a local Battlefield server, you could easily see rising local stars, but because of our mix with Europe we often don’t have a reference point. We might be required to take extra initiative with local get togethers/events (Raliator and myself are going to discuss some ideas around this).

      Reply

      • Dane

        October 14, 2016 at 09:03

        It makes sense. Do you think we have enough players of each skill level to populate the servers appropriately? Or will it be like me trying to start Dota 2 for the first time and not winning a game in 10 hours? xD

        Reply

        • Sean McCalgan

          October 14, 2016 at 09:06

          I assume you’re talking about servers filled with all local players, as in custom games? Ideally if you’re interested in playing competitively you will have a decent amount of hours in the game already (even if only quick play) – so if you understand your hero, pairing up some new guys with 3-4 competitive players in a fun sort of practice match is one example of how you can get the feel for it and, if you’re interested, taking it further etc.

          Reply

          • Dane

            October 14, 2016 at 10:25

            I was more leaning towards having too few players in matchmaking to be able to have balanced games on local servers. Be it comp or not.

          • Sean McCalgan

            October 14, 2016 at 10:27

            Oh ok. Yeah I’m commenting under the assumption of only using our current setup on EU servers (it’s very unlikely we’d ever get SA servers), and how we can manage to group together in that environment.

  9. RaMbzZ

    October 14, 2016 at 11:34

    *Not an OW player* As far as I know a OWSA Facebook group already exists. Now create a second group specifically for competitive OW in SA and request that all who wish to play competitive OW for a team join that group. Within that group you can further arrange, as a community, how to grow competitive OW in SA and you can also gauge how many competitive and aspiring competitive players there are locally.

    Reply

  10. PC_Principal

    October 15, 2016 at 08:12

    I wasn’t aware there are any benefits to not having local servers. I’m not into competitive gaming, can anyone tell me what the other side is to this so called “heated debate”?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

Xbox Series X Restock Update Today: Track on Twitter, Walmart, Best Buy and More

New consoles are on the horizon, and while Sony and Microsoft have spoken plenty about wha…