OWL mocked for cramped midseason madness LAN setup

Blizzard Entertainment

The setup for teams at Overwatch League’s Midseason Madness tournament is being widely lambasted online for looking more like a local LAN meetup than a professional, multi-million dollar esport.

OWL is often touted as the pinnacle of Overwatch esports, but the team setup for the Midseason Madness tournament isn’t impressing anyone.

On July 17 London Spitfire player and longtime OWL veteran Gael ‘Poko’ Gouzerch posted a picture of the Midseason Madness setup. Optimistically he noted the tournament should be “exciting,” and that’s about the nicest thing anyone had to say about it.

The setup is simply five desks set up in rows next to one another, with teams facing each other less than five feet apart.

This poses plenty of problems for comms and strategizing, and as many in the OWL community have pointed out, it looks absolutely ridiculous for a multi-million dollar esport.

“Nonstandard competition desks (who plays with a curved desk?) and players easily close enough to hear each other’s comms especially between rounds,” Houston coach Jacob ‘JAKE’ Lyon said on Twitter. “We were told this morning that nothing is going to be changed or fixed.”

Others cut right to the chase, with former OWL caster Erik ‘DoA’ Lonnquist calling the setup “an absolute joke.”

Even OWL host Soe Gschwind mocked the setup, saying she was “convinced someone was actively trying to put together a 2008 lan throwback setup.”

“If I can either throw hands or play footsies with my opponent, I am too close,” she added.

Still, if teams were given soundproof headphones, it might mitigate the communication issues, right? Well, according to retired pro Matthew ‘super’ DeLisi, they’re not even doing that.

“Afaik there’s no sound proof headphones either, players were allowed to bring whatever headphones they wanted,” super quoted Poko’s tweet explaining. “At least that’s how it was last year. If that’s the case again, good luck whispering to each other your comms.”

The Overwatch League is undoubetly in an odd spot right now, after taking a hit with no live audiences during the pandemic, and now playing on OW 2 before the game comes out in October 2022.

However, it’s clear everyone expects a better setup from a league that had a $20 million buy-in price for teams, not one that looks like it could be a setup for a college team’s scrims.