The Overwatch League Is Pulling NA Esports to the Top

by | Jan 8, 2018 | Esports, News, Videogames

The Overwatch League Is Pulling NA Esports to the Top

by | Jan 8, 2018 | Esports, News, Videogames | 0 comments

In a recent interview with Forbes,  CEO of Cloud9 Jack Etienne, confirmed something that many of us have speculated upon—that the Overwatch League being located entirely in Los Angeles would bring up the stature of North American Overwatch as a whole. 

If you’ve ever wondered why NA esports always seem to lack behind that of Asia (mainly Korea) and Europe, the answer is somewhat twofold. First and foremost, Korea was the first to dive headfirst into the idea of esports and as such, they have a much richer foundation to build upon. Then came Europe, followed distantly by NA.

The second part of the equation is a consequence of the first. Korea and Europe have better players, so their up-and-coming players are able to play against stronger competition. This makes them better and creates a cyclical pattern that lifts the entire region to a higher standard of play. 

 

At least that’s what people have been theorizing for years. Now, in his interview with Forbes, Etienne has given further credence to that notion. According to him, now that so much of the world’s professional Overwatch talent has moved stateside, the NA solo queue is considered the best in the business. “My Korean players went back to Korea and they’re like, get me back to NA, that’s where the best solo queue is,” he said in the interview.

North America’s rising stature in the competitive Overwatch community could do wonders for the esports community as a whole. The dominance of Korea has hardly waned in the last five years, but total dominance isn’t good for anyone. It leaves the best to stagnate and keeps others from reaching their potential.

An emerging NA powerhouse will raise the stature of esports in North America in general, not just Overwatch. It’s a simple case of the rising tide that lifts all ships.

A stellar NA Overwatch scene may attract one or two of the best Korean players to the professional League of Legends scene in Los Angeles. Then those one or two attract others. Suddenly the NA LoL scene is significantly better and so on.

Not to mention, Riot and the seasoned LoL teams probably don’t want to get upstaged in their own backyard. If the Overwatch League turns out better than the NALCS, that might encourage the NA League teams to better themselves just so they’re not seen as a secondary esport. Whether direct or indirect, competition is the catalyst to growth.  

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