Winner of the game
First, let’s start with the oldest and classical stuff. Match betting is the most popular wagering option and is a huge market. Here you simply bet on the winner of the battle, be it a best of three or a best of five. The drawback of this, however, is that the odds are pretty lopsided toward the favorite, and you either have to hope for an unlikely upset to cash in, or earn very little profit by betting on the favorite.
For example, let’s say that Team A is playing Team B. Squad A is a heavy favorite, and is listed at odds 1.1, while Squad B is a heavy underdog and is listed at 8. Here you need to decide, whether to risk and win much (x8 amount), or most likely get a small profit (x1.1 only).
Over or Under
Our next gambling market is the over/under, where you bet on how long the battle takes. Basically, instead of predicting on who will win the game, you are thinking about how close the match will be. This can be useful in a battle like the one example between Team A and Team B. Let’s say you think Squad B will do a decent job in the match and keep it close.
Then you could bet on the over, saying that the game will last longer than the line set by the odds makers. On the flip side, let’s say you think Squad A will quickly dispatch of Team B. Then you can bet on the under. Over under Overwatch bets are useful when you want to bet on an event based on how competitive it will be without picking a certain team.
In this Overwatch betting market, you are predicting who will win a certain map instead of putting money on the overall match winner. The odds are slightly more even between teams because of the unpredictable nature of individual rounds where one mistake can sink you.
Let’s say you wager on Game 1 of the match between Squad A and Squad B. Instead of 1.1 vs 8 as the odds, they would be something like 1.2 vs 6. Individual map betting is a good market if you want to look for value, or don’t want to commit a few hours of your day.
This is a bet that is very quickly decided on individual maps and is very even and unpredictable. Esport sportsbooks often have very low limits for these wagers, and the odds are very close. If Team A and Team B faced off and First Blood is the event that you want to make your Overwatch bet on, then the odds would probably be something like 1.7 vs 2.2, a stark difference between the odds on the other markets. First Kill can be a useful wager, especially when you only have time to watch ten or fifteen minutes of a game during a lunch or a break.
Why it Became so Popular?
Picture a stadium. Thousands of people on the edge of their seats. Deafening cheers and jeers circulating the arena. Posters and flags and neon lights wave around in a colorful blur.
It’s a usual sight as sporting events sell out entire venues. People from all over gather around and cheer for their favorite teams, battling it out amidst countless spectators. Over the course of history, various sports including boxing, basketball, and football served as spectacles for crowds to enjoy.
This generation has brought forth a new phenomenon. In the center of the stadium, there is no ball or ring – the athletes are all sitting down in front of computer screens. However, everything else remains constant: the competitive ambiance, the roaring crowd – everything you’d expect from a typical ballgame. And of course, no sporting event would be complete without betting.
Like its physical counterpart, video games, or eSports, have become the subject of gambling – players putting in money for the teams they were confident would come out on top. And it makes sense. The audience is there – millions of people watch eSports, and you don’t have to look further than the recent League of Legends Championships to prove it. This title consistently sells out stadiums with their World Championships and even mid-season events. While smaller scale games don’t quite make the cut, the giant titles with competitive scenes are sure to have gamblers flocking.
LoL, DotA, CS:GO, Starcraft. All are dominating titles in eSports. With the worldwide popularity of these games, it seems difficult for any new one to join the market and fight for a share of the playerbase. Overwatch, however, proved otherwise. Even before its official release, the game quickly rose to fame. As a team-based shooter, a competitive scene was imminent, and so was a new betting environment.
Of course, Overwatch isn’t the first shooter to gain popularity to compete with the giant MOBA titles like League and DotA. CS:GO, for example, is a huge title in eSports betting. A number of websites, such as CS:GO Lounge, allowed players to wage their in-game items such as gun and knife skins for items of a higher value. Like an actual casino, these websites offered various entertainments: lotteries and roulette.
Since Overwatch has cosmetics such as character skins and victory poses, Blizzard always has the option to support gambling by taking this route in the future. It may even be a good idea on their part. Gambling features have been known to boost the revenue of most games, and even big titles have utilized it to gain more income. League of Legends introduced “mystery skins” and “hextech chests” which allowed players to receive random in-game cosmetics for a fixed price. Even Valve has utilized this tactic with the use of random weapon crates for both CS:GO and TF2.
Overwatch is a relatively new title. Backed by the company responsible for taking the world by storm with their lore-rich RTS and MMORPG games in the Warcraft series, the cartoony first person shooter was successful in rapidly gaining popularity. LoL, DotA, and CS:GO have all reached their peaks, and their playerbases are beginning to decline. Overwatch, on the other hand, has only been starting to grow.
Several players on reddit have been starting to ask if there are websites where they can begin to bet for Overwatch. While unlike CS:GO, item gambling is not possible due to Blizzard’s lack of a marketplace-like feature. However, match betting has been established in the known sportsbooks.
Overwatch is definitely the next big eSport. Once it develops and popularizes its competitive scene, it’s inevitable that gamblers and even casual followers will continue to entrust money in the hands of their favorite OW teams.
Overwatch Professional Tournaments
Major players in other eSports, ELEAGUE and FACEIT have combined to form an Overwatch tournament with a whopping three hundred thousand dollar prize pool, the biggest by far in this history of the game. The OW Open, as it is called, featured many exciting eSports franchises onto the scene, such as the juggernauts EnVyUs.
Currently, only one season has been played, but it was a huge success and further seasons are expected. Broadcast on Twitch, this best of sixteen competition was a very successful event in which Misfits took home a one hundred thousand dollar grand prize. While the contest may feel small compared to other e-sports, it was the biggest yet in Overwatch history.
The next battle in our list is the APAC Premier, a big contest in the OW world. With a prize pool of 100 thousand dollars, it’s a very popular event which was also broadcasted on Twitch.
With the team Rouge taking home a seventy five thousand dollar prize (converted from Chinese Yen), it is the biggest OW tourney to take place outside the US so far. This tournament is a good indicator of major interest in Overwatch betting, with huge and positive spectator responses, and should feature many more seasons just as successful as its first!
The third and final tourney on this list is the ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown at Cologne. This was the ESL event, and was the first competition to offer a six figure prize pool at one hundred thousand. Featuring many eSports names you might recall from the popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike, this was a great sign for OW moving forward. Some big names include Cloud9, Fnatic, EnVyUs, and Dignitas.
Taking place in the middle of August 2016, this was considered the pioneer tournament that really started the Overwatch pro scene. You could almost call it the Big Bang of the ever expanding e-sport OW. Broadcast on Twitch, this event got over one million views, impressive for a competition with not many big named commentators or a huge prize pool. Looking ahead, this might be a frequent tourney with an ever increasing reward.
I know Overwatch prize pools may seem small compared to DotA 2, Counter-Strike, and League of Legends, but they are a step in the right direction.
The Greatest Overwatch Teams
Now that we have covered the top tournaments, let us get into the best Overwatch teams. A thing to keep in mind is that this article was written in early December 2016, when not many squads are around, so this list might be drastically out of date within a year or so. All rankings are based on my opinion and may differ from yours.
Let’s get started with the 5th best team, which is Fnatic. A staple name from Counter-Strike, this team isn’t doing that bad in Overwatch either. With good finishes at many tourneys, and constant good results, this squad looks to be a big player as the recognition of OW as an e-sport increases. Their crew consists of: coolmatt69, Stoop, custa, budsS, roflgator, and Hafficool. Be on the lookout for this up and coming team!
The fourth best team is Cloud9, with a whopping eighty percent all time win rate. With good showings at some of the early Overwatch contests, they have a bright future. Their crew consists of KyKy, Adam, surefour, Mendukosaii, and ryb. While they only have sixty eight thousand dollars worth of prizes, they have a strong squad, which deserves a fourth place ranking.
Coming in as the third best squad is Rouge. As I mentioned earlier in the article, they won the APAC Premier, and are given a top spot almost solely on that. With a seventy four percent win rate and one hundred fifty thousand dollars in prizes, this crew looks to be serious contenders in many major battles to come. Their squad consists of: uNKOE, TviQ, aKmzzz, winz, Reinforce, and Mitsy. Rouge is always up to give you a good game.
Close to the top at second place is EnVyUs. They have a win rate of ninety one percent, with just shy of one hundred thousand dollars in prizes. While talent wise they look like the best team in the world, the winners of the Overwatch Open have to take a slight edge over them, leading the series 2-1. Their crew consists of: INTERNETHULK, cocco, chipshajen, harryhook, and Taimou. This Counter-Strike powerhouse looks to bring their dominating ways to OW.
The best squad, the winner of the Overwatch Open is… Team Misfits! These guys have been on an absolute roll, taking off the heads of anyone who dares oppose them. With a seventy nine percent win rate and just shy of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in tournament earnings, Misfits are a force to be reckoned with. Their medley of talent includes: Zebbosai, shipjack, SoOnSM, NevixOW, Windz, and Hidan. They have taken many top-tier players and dispatched of them with ease, and always play close matches on the maps they do lose. Misfits are number one until someone can do enough to knock them down.
Overwatch eSports Rules
Competitive Overwatch can be a fun thing to watch and bet on, especially when skilled pros do it. However, it is really boring and confusing if you don’t fully understand the rules and regulations of the match.
First, let’s start with the pre-match rules and guidelines. Each team is only allowed one of each type of hero, to prevent squads from stacking up on powerful heroes. The crews play a best of five match, with as little as three games being played to as many as five. I will go over the rules of all four different types of fields.
Our first types of maps are control levels. Teams battle for control of special points, which you “capture” if you control it for a certain amount of time. Each occasion you capture a site, the game resets and you get a point in your match score. For the first three games, all three control points will be available. However, for the last two only two of the three sites will be available for capture.
The next types of playgrounds are Assault Maps. You have four minutes at the start, and you take turns trying to attack and defend a capture point. As soon as you take a site, or your time runs out you switch sides and try to defend. When you capture and defend a point successfully, or fail to do this, the game resets and the other team earns a mark in the match score.
If both squads successfully capture or defend the site, then another rotation is played with 4:30 instead of just four minutes. If you fail to capture a point, the time you have remaining stays the same provided you successfully defend the site when the other team starts attacking. A match can end up in a draw if both crews run out of time, in which case the match score remains as it was before and the map is replayed.
The third types of fields are Escort maps. Here you have to push a payload as far as you can, and are given extra time at checkpoints. You start with four minutes, and your turn is over when your time runs out. The goal is to reach as many checkpoints as possible since you get more additional seconds for reaching them. Once you run out of time, the sides switch and the other team tries to push their payload further than yours.
There is a little yellow mark where you ran out of time, and the other squad loses if they cannot reach the point, but wins if their payload gets past the marker. If both crews manage to reach the final checkpoint, then another rotation will begin with each team only having the seconds they had remaining from the other rotation. Again, this is played in a best of five.
The final levels are hybrid maps. They are a mixture of control and escort playgrounds. The goal here is to deliver the payload to the final checkpoint and then capture the control point within four minutes. If you don’t finish in time, there is a yellow market where you stopped, and the other team’s goal is to pass that. If both crews are able to capture the control point, then the map is played again, with each squad having only the seconds remaining from their previous attempt.
That’s all folks! See you next time, good luck!