Players | Settings | Gear list
First released in May 2016, Overwatch is published by Blizzard Games. It’s a team-based first-person shooter often described as a “hero shooter.” Players form teams of six and each player can choose from over 30 of Overwatch’s “heroes.” The game follows a global crisis storyline where the heroes must restore peace.
Each hero has a unique style of play, from time-jumping adventurers to robot monks, and teams must master hero abilities and work together to secure and defend points on a map or take a payload securely across the map. This could be defending the Temple of Anubis or escorting an EMP. Players are needed for combat on the front line or for defensive cover, using hero abilities effectively is key to becoming an Overwatch pro.
As well as plenty of heroes and maps to choose from, there are new ones released on a regular basis. Players can also receive rewards such as skins and victory poses, but these don’t affect play in the game itself.
Overwatch launched initially with just casual play, but Blizzard Games later added a competitive and ranked mode as well as “arcade” style modes and a customizable server browser. Its initial beta release saw nearly 10 million players and the most recent figures in 2019 point to around 40 million monthly players.
Competitive play in Overwatch starts with the Competitive Play mode and progresses through to Overwatch League and Overwatch Path to Pro play. There are many Overwatch tournaments to join including the Overwatch Open Division and for professional players the Overwatch World Cup.
The Overwatch World Cup takes place at Blizzard Games’ annual BlizzCon event. Team USA won the Overwatch World Cup event at BlizzCon 2019, taking home $10,000, China was in second place and South Korea in third. The event had a total prize pool of $205,000.
Overwatch was unveiled at BlizzCon 2014, in closed beta until early 2016, and then released in open beta where it achieved nearly 10 million players. By May 2018 it had 40 million players and it then achieved 50 million players after three years.
Overwatch creator’s Blizzard Games revealed over $1 billion in revenue for the game in the first year of its release.
The esports tournament prize pool for Overwatch was less than $2 million in 2016 but $6.5 million by 2018.
For the 30 days prior to April 15, 2020, over 13 million hours of Overwatch streaming have been viewed on Twitch and over 880,000 hours broadcast.