I started watching Overwatch League and I really like it. I also started watching English Premier League this year and I think that I prefer OWL. For those who don’t know Overwatch, it’s a game made by Blizzard where the focus is team based combat and each player plays a character with a unique set of skills (unfortunately, none of the characters are Liam Neeson) where a team’s composition can dictate a win or loss.
It’s incredibly nerdy, but it has elements of sport that are familiar to anyone who follows any sport: a championship, teams, divisions and playoffs. However, like any other sport it makes no fucking sense if you’re completely new to it (even moreso if you’re not a gamer) and it helps to watch it with someone who knows the sport and you also enjoy hanging out with (the latter point is actually more important).
Side rant: I’ve compared OWL to sports but never called it a sport. I don’t even like the term “e-sports” - this just isn’t a sport. Literally, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” It’s the physical exertion that differentiates sports and gaming, despite the many parallels. That’s not to say that gaming doesn’t produce its own physical effects - i.e. increased heart rate, sweating (kind of like in real sport) - but I find that gaming is its own specialized set of skills. This is not an inherently negative trait since a great sportsman isn’t necessarily a great gamer and vice-versa. However, it does require an incredible amount of communication, on-the-fly decision-making, planning, hand-eye coordination (different to real life), and spatial awareness (again, different to real life) to play at a high level, just like sports.
Maybe e-sports is the best term for this, but I don’t treat it like sport. Many would argue motorsports isn’t technically sport, but that is an argument I can easily counter (i.e. I’ve never pulled weights using my head/neck, like F1 drivers do, plus the fitness needed for physical stamina, and all the other crazy shit like triathlons and cycling and whatever).
This, along with my video game music post from earlier this week have actually made me recede into virginity.