American animated sitcom “American Dad” has become the latest mainstream show to poke fun at esports, parodying the Overwatch World Cup in a rather over-the-top segment in a recent episode.
American Dad has been running for over 15 years, and like most animated comedy series, tries to base itself in reality.
This means crossovers do happen — and esports has been the latest target of a recent episode. Overwatch has once again made a name for itself in other forms of media, getting featured in Seth MacFarlane-produced animated sitcom.
A snippet from the latest episode, aired on May 17, features Stan Smith — the main character — going undercover as an Overwatch pro to “eliminate the head of North Korea’s nuclear program.”
“Every year, our target attends an international video game tournament in Hong Kong,” Avery Bullock, Stan’s boss at the CIA, says. “He is a massive esports fan. The only time he leaves the security of his underground bunker is to attend the final."
Smith then enlists the help of his son, Steve, to get him up to scratch to participate in the Overwatch World Cup so he can get close to his target.
The snippet has received mixed reviews from the esports community. Gaming crossovers into other mainstream mediums rarely get overly positive commentary about them, with many labeling it a “fellow kids” moment.
“American Dad aired a competitive Overwatch episode and I really don’t know how to feel,” said ‘LiimitLiz’ on Twitter.
American Dad aired a competitive Overwatch Episode and I really Don't. know how to feel. pic.twitter.com/ZAWV8Q5S6S
— liz 🐸| BLM | (@LiimitLiz) May 19, 2020
American Dad’s rather fantastical plot line for the episode hasn’t resonated too well with the gaming audience, but it’s interesting to note that more esports — and esports pros — is being featured in more places than just Twitch.
Last year, Overwatch also made an appearance on Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken, while The Simpsons devoted an entire episode to League of Legends.
You can find the American Dad Overwatch snippet on the TBS YouTube channel — which may be region-locked. Don’t expect it to be the last time esports gets woven into other mediums in 2020 either.