Overwatch is one of the most popular FPS game titles of this past decade. During the early days of Overwatch, it was considered to be the next title to dethrone League of Legends, a game that arguably remains to be the most popular game in the world. Especially in Korea, where League of Legends is still the most popular game among young adults to this day, there was a time when the community once thought that Overwatch would take over the Korean gaming scene. Hence, it was once called the 'LoL Killer'.
Blizzard games have always responded well to the Korean gaming community [StarCraft and Diablo have literally shaped the Korean gaming culture], so naturally, people got very excited for Overwatch. The OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 finals in 2017, RunAway vs Lunatic Hai, still remains to be one of the most historical esports series to date. Fast forward to 2022, Overwatch ended their service on Oct 3 for the launch of its sequel, Overwatch 2, which released on Oct 4. However, does it have the same hype as its predecessor?
For starters, Overwatch 2 is currently the second most watched category on Twitch, just next to the ‘Just Chatting’ category. League of Legends follows closely behind OW2 with roughly 99K viewers. Keep in mind that these numbers were counted during the off-days of the 2022 LoL World Championship, so the two titles are very neck and neck in terms of viewership.
In Korea, one method to tell how well a game is being received is by seeing how many people are playing the game in PC bangs. According to Gametrics.com, a Korean gaming data website that provides game rankings in PC bangs across Korea, Overwatch 2 climbed to rank 3 in the first week of October, with a 9.28% usage time. League of Legends is still the number one game with a 40.05% usage time, and it has retained their spot for over 200 weeks. Riot Games’ take on the FPS genre, VALORANT, has dropped to rank 5 with a 5.47% usage time, while Korea’s most beloved FPS title, Sudden Attack, is at rank 4 with a 6.11% usage time across PC bangs.
It has only been nine days since the release of OW2, so it’s definitely safe to say that the aforementioned statistics have been boosted. However, even if these numbers are boosted, it’s also safe to assume that the Overwatch IP is still beloved by fans all around the world. While the fan reception to this game may be mixed, the overall response of the game itself seems to be on the positive end of the pool. How long will this popularity last? While only time will tell, it's now up to Blizzard to learn from their cesspool of operation failures in the past and do things differently for OW2.
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