Overwatch

Overwatch play goes viral after point-winning Zarya ‘yeet’ on King’s Row

Published: 17/Feb/2020 21:33

by Michael Gwilliam

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An amazing Overwatch play has gone viral for its creative use of Zarya’s Graviton Surge ultimate on one of the game’s most popular maps – King’s Row.

With only ten seconds remaining in their attack, Redditor OGNatan knew he had to make a big play for his team or else they would have been held at point A.

From behind the gate leading to the choke, the Zarya player told his team to “watch this Grav” and fired it up on the air over the enemy forces who were all playing on the point.

Blizzard Entertainment
Zarya’s ultimate is very powerful.

“It’s going to be on point in about four seconds,” the off-tank alerted his teammates in Discord.

Amazingly, the ultimate ended up landing perfectly and gathered the enemy team in place leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.

As the opposing team were all sucked into the black hole, OGNatan and his Wholehogging Roadhog were able to wipe the enemy squad with relative ease in overtime.

Sometimes you just gotta yeet it from Overwatch

Judging by the Zarya’s stats, he was a force in capturing the point, picking up 11 kills and doing over 6,000 damage in trying to take A to get the payload moving alone.

Even some of the enemy team was impressed. In match chat, someone on the other team wrote, “nice one, jeez” and “that was hot.”

Not to be outdone and sticking to character, the Zarya wrote back, “I can bench more than you” – a nod to one of the hero’s popular voice lines.

Blizzard Entertainment
When she’s charged, Zarya does a lot of damage.

In the comments of the Reddit post appropriately titled “sometimes you just gotta yeet it,” OGNatan explained that the clip came about during a warm up game with friends in Quick Play.

Surprisingly, the player is only high platinum rank. “I’m usually in the 2700-3100 range on tank though. I don’t really grind ranked that much anymore,” he wrote.

Regardless, it was an impressive display and sometimes that probably shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re extremely confident just as this player was.

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.