Why you should be watching the Overwatch Heroes Rumble this week.

With the preseason showcasing Blizzard's amazing new LA arena and the OWL teams preparing for the start of the season, it may have been easy to forget about the Overwatch Heroes Rumble going on this week in Taipei, Taiwan.  However, with such an eclectic group of teams competing in a non-traditional tournament structure, it might very well prove to be the most entertaining Overwatch event of the year.

Will you watch this event live? Probably not considering it starts at exactly midnight PST. To those interested (and let's face it, if you love Overwatch you should be), the US stream and on subsequent VODS will be available at twitch.tv/playoverwatch.

Here are the reasons the Overwatch Heroes Rumble may be the sleeper most fun Overwatch event of the year.

1. It will offer a competitive look at 1 vs. 1, 3 vs. 3, and 4 vs. 4 game modes.

Take a look at this tournament format and tell me you don't want to watch this. 

Quarterfinals and Semifinals (Bo5):

- Game One: 6v6 Competitive Play

Game Two: 6v6 Competitive Play

-  Game Three: 4v4 Team Deathmatch

Game Four: 1v1 Limited Duel

Game Five: 6v6 Competitive Play

Finals (Bo7):

Game One: 6v6 Competitive Play

Game Two: 6v6 Competitive Play

Game Three: 4v4 Team Deathmatch

Game Four: 3v3 Lockout Elimination

Game Five: 1v1 Limited Duel

Game Six: 6v6 Competitive Play

Game Seven: 6v6 Competitive Play

Yes, you read that right. Team Deathmatch, lockout elimination, and a 1v1 Duel mode are all part of this tournament.  This will be, without a doubt, the most competitive showcasing of these game modes, and the team captains are taking it seriously:

"I think this format is actually a good way to showcase Overwatch. The true competitive mode is always 6v6, but this is going to be really fun. A lot of people stream these modes so it's a good way to show the game".

- Dylan "aKm" Bignet

"I think all of the other game modes other than 6v6 have a place in the community. This will bring so much unexpected moments and excitement to the audience,  things they have never seen before."

-Joonas "zappis" Alakurtti

During the press conference, the teams didn't want to reveal their strategies, but it was hinted that hypermobility comps and an emphasis on Mei, Doomfist, and Orisa would play a big role in winning the 3v3 and 4v4 parts of the tournament.

2. This is a proving ground for the Pacific Championship teams.

With the recent announcement of Overwatch's extended Path to Pro, The Pacific Championship teams on display have a real shot on one day joining the official OWL. Blank Esports (lead by Trill) and Flash Wolves (led by KMoMo) are by far the best two teams from the OPC and, to them, this tournament is a chance to show the world how powerful they are.

▲ Make no mistake, these teams are playing for more than just bragging rights. 

And they plan on doing so by defeating the established pros from the west. Mangachu, known for his incredible World Cup performance representing Team Canada and zappis, the elite player from Finland are two widely respected players who have an obvious future in competitive Overwatch. While the tournament is primarily an exhibition event, these clashes are about intense regional pride and the all-important ability to attract sponsors from esports organizations.

Simply put, the pro players have been dying for a chance to showcase their skills. This is their first chance.

3. This is a big opportunity for players looking to make a name for themselves.

Have you heard of a player name Elk? What about Davin or J3sus? These players and more are attending OW Heroes Rumble and see it as more than just a fun trip to Taiwan. Season 2 of the OWL has their names written all over it and you can bet that, when Contenders season begins, these are the names you will see again and again.

You may remember Davin's impressive Tracer during the first season of Contenders.

While Kephrii's quite literal meme team is here for fun, players like Elk are taking this very seriously:

"I'd say the player who wants to win the most is Elk. He plays countless hours of this game-- 8 to 10 hours a day and when he is not scrimming, he is playing ranked. Easily the most dedicated players I've seen in this game and I'm happy to have him as a teammate."

Liam "Mangachu" Campbell


If you follow OWL league news closely, you may have heard rumors about there being tons of talent that hadn't made it in the league. Well, here is your chance to see some of them play.


▲ Another high caliber match slated for this week.

4. Kephrii's Widowmaker will be put to the test.

Say what you want about Kephrii and his knack for drama, the guys Widowmaker really is otherworldly. During the Day 0 press conference, each captain from the Pacific championship teams commented on how they want to challenge Kephrii's Widowmaker and see if it really is as good as it looks on stream:

Even Kephrii was surprised, which only means he will try that much harder when facing these professional teams. Many fans of Kephrii's gameplay have wondered how he would fair in a competitive setting and this is the first step in seeing that become a reality. 

In addition, the 1v1, 4v4 and 3v3 modes will allow Kephrii's Meme Dream Team a real shot at taking down the "actual" professional teams. After all, The Meme Dream Team is compromised of some of Overwatches most popular streamers from the Pacific region and they are the first to admit their inclusion is largely for fun.

5. It's something completely new.

There is a fair bit of criticism that is justified when talking about competitive Overwatch as an entertaining spectator esport. Team compositions are fairly straightforward and, to the casual observer, the storylines and stakes at work aren't obvious.

But, the Overwatch Heroes Rumble is changing things up in the name of entertainment value:

Will a team of highly popular streamers with one hyper carry have a chance to win? Probably not but... what if?

Will Kephrii get extremely salty if he loses in the 1v1 Limited Duel? What if he wins?

What off-the-wall strategies are the Pacific teams hinting at with regards to the 3v3 and 4v4 modes? What does a "hypermobility" comp look like?

Can the hybrid team of Chinese and Taiwanese pro's defeat aKm's stacked lineup?

▲Middle -- Eddy Meng, Managing Director of Blizzard Entertainment

These type of questions make for interesting and unique Overwatch entertainment. If the Overwatch League doesn't interest you, I have a feeling this type of tournament will.

From the words of Eddy Meng, Managing Director of Blizzard Entertainment in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, this tournament promises to appeal to all types of Overwatch fans:

"Overwatch esports is about many things. It's a global phenomenon, it's about intense team competition, it's about creating stars and it's about fun. The Overwatch Heroes Rumble has all of that, with players from multiple Pacific regions going up against some top players from NA and EU.

Overwatch is all about variety, There's something for everyone. This weekend promises to showcase all of that here on stage!"

The tournament starts this Thursday the 14th and at midnight PST, 4:00 PM UTC and ends this Sunday, December 17th. Casting will be provided by ZP, VikkiKitty,  Stephanie, and Austy



English Live Channel

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/playoverwatch

Mandarin Live Channel

- Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/overwatchzhtw

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/blizzardesportstw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlizzardEstadiumTW/

Follow me on Twitter for live updates from the Overwatch Heroes Rumble! I'll capture player quotes, photos, and behind the scenes looks at major Overwatch events all around the world-- chances are if you are reading this you'd enjoy my feed.

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