With hundreds of tournaments and dozens upon dozens of leagues globally, it seems as though esports are really hitting their strides in 2016. However, there are only a handful of games that actually make their way into the spotlight and are followed by a wide audience. Blizzard Entertainment has not only introduced many of these games, such as StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone, but helped cultivate the beginning of the esports phenomenon with their release of StarCraft: Brood War. Because of this, when Blizzard announced Overwatch as a team-based, competitive FPS, many eyes were trained on the game in hopes of it rising as a dominate esports presence.
Now that we’re a week into release and have several betas under our belts, its time to judge whether or not Overwatch can truly succeed as an official esport. To do this, it’s incredibly important to understand how a game turns into an esport. We’ve broken this down into four key factors: Accessibility, Balance, Funding, and Watchable. In order to become a competitive sensation, a game must encompass each of these qualities to a very high level. Let’s put Overwatch to the test and see how it ranks in each of these categories.