In South Korea, the gaming majority spend their times at “PC Bangs,” or internet cafes. There they have strict rules and regulations regarding gaming, but it does not stop most Korean youth from playing day in and day out. For the past four years theses PC Bangs have been the home for League of Legends fanatics throughout Korea. That was until Overwatch launched, and a number of PC Bangs made the game freely available on their machines. Over the past five to six weeks we have watched the number climb in South Korea, and today Overwatch has officially overtaken League of Legends as the most played game in PC Bangs in South Korea.
Gametrics, the site which has been monitoring the data closely since the launch, announced yesterday that Overwatch has hit the 30% share of the market, with League of Legends still standing at 27%.
— Calycae (@Calycae) June 27, 2016
This rise in Overwatch is largely because the game is free within these PC Bangs. The data does not reflect what happens in the homes of Korean gamers, and there’s a safe assumption that League of Legends still is the largest game in South Korea. It pains most that Overwatch comes with a hefty $40 price tag, but it’s a once off fee which is well worth every cent. The PC Bangs in South Korea are a massive business. According to the Daily Dot, League of Legends is available for $1 an hour and all characters are unlocked. You’re also able to unlock in-game currency which allows you to use it for a game or two of Overwatch, which is also $1 an hour.
There’s a booming interest for competitive Overwatch in South Korea, a place that worships professional gamers who are seen as celebrities. Some of the professional players in top teams have already reached stardom in South Korea, despite never setting foot in the country. Popular players such as Brandon “Seagull” Larned have already been interviewed by South Korean websites, and Seagull is easily one of the most popular professional players in the world.
With the rise in Overwatch in PC Bangs, it won’t be long before the game enters the homes of South Korean gamers and continues pushing League of Legends who has held the title of number one eSport (in the world) for almost four years.
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Last Updated: June 28, 2016