Overwatch League fans got a lot more than they bargained for when a game between the Guangzhou Charge and the Dallas Fuel had the longest pause in the history of the OWL.
Typical OWL pauses to a match range from simple hardware malfunctions to more complicated fixes due to untimely bugs, but the problems are usually sorted away as fast as the problem tends to arise.
That wasn’t the case during the August 18 bout between Stage Four’s third place Charge and last place Dallas Fuel where a stoppage of play started to test the improv abilities of the Overwatch League production team.
After exhausting a video featurette about 10 minutes long of all the stage finalists, there was still no end in sight for the unusual delay. With an arena still packed with fans, the production team stepped up to keep spirits alive as much as they could.
This included another full-length feature filled with highlights of OWL players on Horizon Lunar Colony, a highly problematic locale in Overwatch that will be making its way back to the league’s map pool for the playoffs.
Coming back from yet another break in production, the team passed the baton to Emily Tang who took charge of the pause by conducting on-stage interviews with members of the Fuel. While the interviews were short, Pongphop ‘Mickie’ Rattanasangchod was able to keep the stage alive with his burst of energy from the impromptu interview.
But the undisputed highlight of the night came when the OWL turned into WWE-style madness when Corey "Corey" Nigra of the Washington Justice took on analyst ‘Bren’ Hook in a bizarre archery contest to kill some time.
The bare chested, tights-wearing analyst Bren was able to take the contest in a 7-4 route, with a ton of time used up in between.
on the bright side, I get paid by the hour
— Guangzhou Charge (@GZCharge) August 19, 2019
After the whole delay ordeal and matchup between the two teams had ended, Dallas Fuel Head Coach Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins offered some insight as to why it took so long to get players loaded into the game.
“To give a little insight from our perspective,” Aero said. “There was no mouse issue. Unkoe's character bugged in game and unable to use his hero. Naturally we asked for a pause to see if there was a solution.
“After Blizzard tried to fix it,” Aero continued. “We were presented with the option of reloading the state of the game using the OWL match time machine since we lost ~25 seconds and an ult trying to fix it. We agreed.”
To give a little insight from our perspective. There was no mouse issue. Unkoe's character bugged in game and unable to use his hero. Naturally we asked for a pause to see if there was a solution.
— Aaron Atkins (@Aero_OW) August 19, 2019
Even though it took a long time to come to a solution, the OWL did their best to keep spirits high while they worked out a way to produce a fair outcome for both teams.