Home Gaming Do yourself a favour and pay attention to competitive Overwatch

Do yourself a favour and pay attention to competitive Overwatch

5 min read
72

In South Africa we have been behind in almost every single competitive eSport title. We’ve always lacked infrastructure, economic stability, and the sheer numbers to even attempt to compete. These are crucial when considering grassroots development of any eSport, and we’ve always been behind.

Our big break came with the increased stability in internet and the introduction of stable servers for RTS/MOBA games in 2010 when Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty came out. We now had the opportunity to compete against European players, and even had a few competing in local online competitions. We had our export, Robert “PandaTank” Botha, who competed in various international tournaments, even spending time overseas and competing.

However, while we could compete we were at a disadvantage as professional players around the world had already competed in previous iterations of Starcraft and Warcraft in the RTS genre. The same opportunity was awarded in 2011 with Dota 2 when our MOBA players were forced to play on European servers. Naturally playing on European latencies is not fun for any game, but it did expose us to a wider skill gap and that did up the skill cap in South Africa. These games mentioned, and others such as Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc. were all games that existed in the international circuit well before we got the chance to grow and compete, but that’s all changing. Some teams have held their own against international competition, and most notably the Southern Barbarians who won the ESL Nations Cup, but it’s evident that we still struggle when looking at other exports who have had the chance to compete abroad.

Overwatch could be our break

By now fans of Overwatch have stuck primarily to the custom games and some private matches versus friends. There are a number of competitive teams and tournaments. This number is rising with 16 teams already signed up for the Orena Ladder. Overwatch could be the opportunity we’ve been waiting for, and something needs to be done if we want to actually compete internationally. Yes, we all know playing on European servers is tough. While Blizzard’s net code is fantastic, there are noticeable delays which are experienced in crucial moments, but it’s not half as bad as other FPS titles played from South Africa to Europe.

Dva

We’ve essentially entered the playing field in a neutral position as professional teams have had a small head start during the beta testing phase. It’s also obvious that these professional teams have the time and money to practice and compete, and they’re competing against other professional teams, but that’s not stopping you from paying close attention and working on becoming as competitive as you can prior to joining or starting your own team. We’re exposed to the same demographic they are when it comes to grass-roots development, and that doesn’t mean we can’t at least try compete against lower tier teams in open tournaments. ESL have their open cup every week, and GosuGamers do the same. My advice would be to enter as many as you can in the efforts of growing and bettering you own, and your team’s play.

Watch the pros

We live in the age of information and there’s plenty online about competitive Overwatch. There are replays on YouTube, professional analyses, and tournaments happening every single weekend. Expose yourself to the higher tier of play. Sit down and watch, pay attention, and see the changes in meta, gameplay, and strategies which evolve out of these competitive scenes. Whether you choose to practice these new-found strategies in public games, or use them in local tournaments, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re learning and improving non-stop. If you find European players, make a mix team of South African and European players. Exposing their play style to ours and visa versa is healthy, but make sure the local tournaments you enter allow you to have international players as some do not.

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The professional players in top teams are often streaming and this is probably the best place to watch as it’s personal and they offer a lot of information as well as answering questions. Here you can either focus on a specific role (whichever the players is playing) or get a general idea of competitive play when watching a professional. This, in my opinion, is far more beneficial as it a personal account and not so much watching and trying to understand what is going on.

Listening to the commentators is also rather important as they may offer in-depth analysis of strategies and plays which you may not have considered. Many of these individuals are old arena FPS players and have some insight into the inner thought process of professional teams. Commentary is usually both exciting and insightful, so this is also a major drawing point for watching competitive Overwatch.

Stop making excuses

The final point, and this is a big one, stop complaining. You will not get local servers, and quite frankly you don’t need them. Take this opportunity to grow and understand that Blizzard have fantastic net code which is a blessing in disguise. Yes, some of our ISPs don’t make it easy with routing issues, but there are options such as What the Fast, and I’d recommend trying it out. If you’re one of the players who continuously make a fuss about local servers, you’re only limiting yourself as you may forget everyone else has to play with the same “handicap.” I say handicap in inverted commas because it’s not really a handicap, it’s a slight adjustment which is easily made.

Start competing, start paying attention, and “git gud.”

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Last Updated: June 15, 2016

72 Comments

  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 15, 2016 at 14:33

    Be like Han, shoot first.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 15, 2016 at 14:36

      Or at least shoot in such a way that the server gives your shot priority over the lag.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 15, 2016 at 14:45

        When my shooting is basically spray-&-pray anyway lag doesn’t matter all that much. 😀

        Reply

        • Pariah

          June 15, 2016 at 14:46

          Did someone say rocket launcher? 😛

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 15, 2016 at 14:47

            Aim for the feet, go for splash damage. Direct hit is a bonus.

          • Pariah

            June 15, 2016 at 14:47

            ^ this guy knows.

          • Viper_ZA

            June 15, 2016 at 14:48

            That’s what Quake tought us, right? xD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 15, 2016 at 14:48

            Crap, they’re on to me.

          • Pariah

            June 15, 2016 at 14:49

            Well it also taught us rail guns in space cause friendships to end and long screams of “nooooooooo” as they get a minus frag for falling into the void. While you chuckle.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 15, 2016 at 15:07

            Quake 1 taught me two guys circle-strafing each other aren’t paying attention to grenades. trollol.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 14:52

            Pharah then

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 15, 2016 at 15:12

            Yeah I prefer maneuverable characters. Run away to fight another day.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 15:14

            In this case you’re provided with a handy jetpack

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 15, 2016 at 15:15

            Was just reading up on her.

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          June 15, 2016 at 14:51

          Aah, you’re either a Reaper or Roadhog player then

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

            June 15, 2016 at 14:51

            DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE

  2. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:37

    We need a local server, that’s it.

    The lag is terribad sometimes

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 15, 2016 at 14:38

      “Stop making excuses

      The final point, and this is a big one, stop complaining. You will not get local servers, and quite frankly you don’t need them. Take this opportunity to grow and understand that Blizzard have fantastic net code which is a blessing in disguise. Yes, some of our ISPs don’t make it easy with routing issues, but there are options such as What the Fast, and I’d recommend trying it out. If you’re one of the players who continuously make a fuss about local servers, you’re only limiting yourself as you may forget everyone else has to play with the same “handicap.” I say handicap in inverted commas because it’s not really a handicap, it’s a slight adjustment which is easily made.
      Start competing, start paying attention, and “git gud.””

      Muahahaha

      Reply

  3. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:40

    That being said, I simply love this game, so fun.

    Just some salty bastards sometimes annoy me, but with friends, a truckload of fun

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

      June 15, 2016 at 14:48

      Oh, and with Otto as well

      Reply

    • Ottokie

      June 15, 2016 at 14:48

      That poor single random in the group deciding to flame us

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

        June 15, 2016 at 14:50

        Dude, never before have I laughed so hard at a salty bastard

        (some context, we were 5 in our group, with one salty bastard saying how useless we are etc etc, next round, he is in the opposite team, and our 5man team totally assrapes them, and in turn, reply with how useless he made the team)

        Reply

        • Ottokie

          June 15, 2016 at 14:54

          “we are coming for you LoL player!”

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

            June 15, 2016 at 14:54

            LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
            Forgot about that!!!!!!!!

          • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

            June 15, 2016 at 14:55

            HAHAHA, shit man, thanks for the reminder, such laughs!!!!!!!!

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      June 15, 2016 at 14:50

      I’m only salty when it comes to voting after a game 😛

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

        June 15, 2016 at 14:50

        When the play of the game is to some dodgy maneuvre

        Reply

  4. Frik van der Hewerskink

    June 15, 2016 at 14:42

    The last comment is so retarded, Lag does matter, Why do you think pro’s complain about 60ms ? so we with our +-220ms should just stop complaining and “git gud” ? what a joke

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 15, 2016 at 14:45

      Read up about Blizz’s net code. And read the article. He’s saying Overwatch is by far the best with that – and for the first time lag is such a minor factor in gameplay – because Blizzard have already accounted for it – that this time, there’s no excuse. This time, it’s get good, or get out. You have no excuse.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 15, 2016 at 14:50

        Even on my 4MB line you can hardly notice the lag

        Reply

        • Viper_ZA

          June 15, 2016 at 14:52

          Agreed, wonky 3G also performs quite adequately

          Reply

        • Ottokie

          June 15, 2016 at 14:53

          You start to notice when using Hanzo (without aim assist) 😛

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 14:55

            Never use him XD

          • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

            June 15, 2016 at 14:56

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 15:00

            XD

          • Sageville

            June 15, 2016 at 15:06

            Nearly as good as my last night’s “Play of the Game”

            Torbjorn, for killing 1 guy while standing next to a turret…

            Guys were hatin

          • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

            June 15, 2016 at 15:09

            LOL

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 15:11

            The need to amend that feature…. or not. Maybe in it’s broken state it’s the only way I’d ever get play of the game

          • Sageville

            June 15, 2016 at 15:14

            Still sore?

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 15, 2016 at 15:33

            Owy :'(

      • Frik van der Hewerskink

        June 15, 2016 at 15:28

        Honestly the good netcode only helps you that far. even if it’s the best out there. It still doesn’t mean that lag isn’t an excuse. seriously a stupid argument.

        Reply

        • CongoKyle

          June 15, 2016 at 15:45

          There’s a distinct difference between “lag” and “latency” in this scenario. In a perfect scenario you should ideally be getting between 160-180 ms to the European servers. I did mention that some ISPs have routing issues.

          I should have also mentioned that the latency (not lag) is not an issue considering the netcode. Proof? EnvyUs are based in the United States, yet continue to win the EU leg of GosuCup. Case and point.

          Reply

          • Darren Peach

            June 15, 2016 at 16:43

            Latency is a problem in some, not all. I have yet to play Overwatch and see for myself. Having said that, If you don’t mind me asking, Is it reasonable ? Case in point, The Division : Shoot and a fraction of a second goes by before the hit registers. COD : No noticeable latency whatsoever.

          • Frik van der Hewerskink

            June 16, 2016 at 11:08

            Just because they are winning does not mean they are not being affected negatively, that is a stupid argument. just read on the bunch of articles that appeared about pro League players even threatening to quit League, Because their pings went from 10ms to 65ms. saying case and point lol. okay dude

    • Darren Peach

      June 15, 2016 at 16:38

      Wooooooooo. A debate.

      Reply

  5. Raptor Rants

    June 15, 2016 at 14:53

    While that’s all fine and well, NetCode can only do so much. There is still a discrepency. The article also assumes that every connection in ZA will not be worse than 250ms. This is unfortunately simply not true.

    Latency to servers can change drastically from one day to the next depending on the ISP, their capacity and current traffic loads through their IPS networks.

    The sad fact is that, even though Overwatch may be really good in this regards, it only is viable in official tournament areas that have dedicated networks on fibre or some such where MWeb or IS have specifically laid out a network for said tournament. When it comes to home connections, unfortunately the sad truth is you will experience time outs, sever latency spikes and general overall worse experience.

    Yes, stop using latency as an excuse. We live with it and it’s something we should adjust to. But stating people should stop asking for local servers just because the netcode is good is rather sad actually.

    Ever thought about the fact that many ISP’s allow free or super cheap local traffic? Imagine how much benefit a gamer could have if he was able to sign up for a cheap local cap only product specifically for gaming as the servers are local?
    There are so many other reasons to have local servers that you can’t simply say stop asking for it just because net code is good.

    /semi rant

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

      June 15, 2016 at 14:55

      tl;dr
      (goes to read)

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

      June 15, 2016 at 14:56

      Agreed

      Reply

    • Pariah

      June 15, 2016 at 14:56

      2% of global. 2% means complain all you want. It’s falling on deaf ears.

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants

        June 15, 2016 at 14:59

        Be that as it may, telling people they aren’t allowed to ask is still not on.
        People should ask. People should want the best if they want to grow professionally.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          June 15, 2016 at 15:02

          Like he said, ask away, maybe someone cares eventually

          Reply

        • Pariah

          June 15, 2016 at 15:02

          He’s not forbidding you from asking. He’s saying it’s fruitless to do so, so instead of bitching, rather learn to play with it and get good. Simple as that. It’s something I did in MMO’s, pvp where split second timing is a must – well you just learn to predict what’s going to happen and act accordingly. You get good. No complaining about your 400ms ping with terribad netcode. You just get good.

          And that was years ago, on a iBurst line. So if we can do it, so can FPS players. Stop bitching and get good.

          Reply

          • Raptor Rants

            June 15, 2016 at 15:52

            after checking some of Kyle’s other responses I understand where he is coming from. Latency can’t be used as an excuse as such. LAG can. IE: Jumping sprites, which doesn’t really happen in Overwatch. So in that regard I have to change what I’ve said and agree with @ky@CongoKyle:disqus

          • Pariah

            June 15, 2016 at 15:57

            NO! Changing minds is not allowed. I won’t allow it! Who should I argue with now? T_T

          • Darren Peach

            June 15, 2016 at 17:00

            Aren’t you being a touch harsh ? If you have a 400ms ping, I doubt it easy to have a representative idea if how you measure against those with lower pings.

        • Sageville

          June 15, 2016 at 15:13

          I think author means the usual excuse of “Lag” isn’t as big an issue as with other games.

          Which is true.

          But you’re still allowed to feel sore if that’s your thing.

          Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 15, 2016 at 14:59

        Yes, had my ass handed to me when I asked about Planetside 2 servers on their forums. Apparently I had to get in line behind Asia

        Reply

        • Pariah

          June 15, 2016 at 15:05

          This is the reality we face. Sucks, but 2% means literally nothing to big companies. Statistically irrelevant.

          Reply

    • Darren Peach

      June 15, 2016 at 16:55

      I agree with your ire completely. We lag behind through complacency. But, we gamers are a minority in SA and I doubt our needs are high on anyones agenda. This could change, but that would require a fundamental shift in the way our Government and their monopoly through Telkom works.

      Reply

  6. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:58

  7. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:59

  8. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:59

    • Ottokie

      June 15, 2016 at 15:00

      All healers know how this feels

      Reply

  9. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 14:59

  10. Raptor Rants

    June 15, 2016 at 15:27

    It’s my latency and I’ll cry if I want to. Cry if I want to.

    Reply

    • Sageville

      June 15, 2016 at 15:33

      You win!

      Reply

  11. Dane

    June 17, 2016 at 09:10

    R900.00

    Reply

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