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Overwatch, Anime & eSports: How MonteCristo Became A Villain

Overwatch, Anime & eSports: How MonteCristo Became A Villain
source: flickr.com

Late last year, on December 26 to be exact, Overwatch League caster MonteCristo tweeted a now infamous phrase: “Overwatch League is not an anime”. These six words, along with the rest of the tweet that you can see below, sparked the most intense, entertaining conversations about the fandom and Overwatch itself that have ever been had.

Now, many weeks later, it seems Overwatch fans are not about to let that tweet or the conversations it sparked die down. Instead, they have dug their heels in and are out to prove that MonteCristo himself is an anime villain.

The second chapter is this tale began on January 2, when Overwatch League enthusiast and talented artist Rswany told the world that since MonteCristo did not see the Overwatch League as an anime, he’d just have to create that world for him. Thus, this beautiful video was born.

As you can see, Rswany captured MonteCristo as a Giovanni-esque anime villain, reeling off his ominous statements, in Japanese of course, stood in the centre of the Blizzard Arena. Inspired by the evil laugh, the creepy music and the intense Japanese monologue, it wasn’t long before other fans of the League joined in. Artist Mercury JC released a video later that same day, and it really captures the idea of Overwatch League being an anime. Oh, and MonteCristo is definitely a villain on par with Frieza or Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Why Is Overwatch So Popular?

Ever since Blizzard released Overwatch back in May 2016, the game has been incredibly popular. In the first month alone, the game attracted 7 million players and inspired almost as many memes, YouTube videos and cosplay characters. Just two years later, the number of active players reached 40 million, making Overwatch ten-times more successful than Blizzard’s other gaming legacy, World of Warcraft, which had just 5.19 million players at that time. In fact, while the number of WoW subscribers is forecasted to fall over the next few years, all indicators suggest that Overwatch will simply continue to grow in popularity.

So why is Overwatch so popular? According to Ben Gilbert of Business Insider, there are several reasons. Firstly, the game is well designed, making it extremely enjoyable to not only play but to watch as an audience member. Then there are factors such as the variety of characters, the fact that the game is always growing and evolving like a living organism and, in connection with that, you as a player are always able to improve and develop.

Overwatch eSports

Gilbert’s reasons seem spot on, and they’re probably why Overwatch continues to be a crucial game in the world of eSports. In addition to other popular games such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Starcraft, Overwatch is incredibly popular with eSports professionals and audiences. These games are so successful that playing them professionally is now on par with playing football or baseball. Huge companies sponsor teams, sportsbook platforms like Betway offer odds on who will win, and millions of people from around the world tune in to watch their favourite players.

It took just six months following the game’s release for Blizzard Entertainment to announce the creation of the Overwatch League, the professional roster of eSports teams that MonteCristo is convinced are not part of an anime. Needless to say, the League was instantly popular among fans of the game and eSports in general.

During the first season, the Overwatch League received funding from sponsors and broadcasters, including Intel, Toyota, T-Mobile and Spotify, worth $200 million. Prior to the season, organizers had managed to establish a two-year deal with Twitch for $90 million, and on the very first day, Blizzard and Disney made a deal regarding broadcasting rights. This deal was then followed by a partnership with Twitter, allowing the social media site to share highlights from the matches.

Right from the start, the Overwatch League was a worldwide success, with millions of people watching the Blizzard Arena from around the sphere when the season began on January 2 2018. A year on and its clear Overwatch’s seat in the world of eSports is not going anywhere. Fans are more than ready for season two to begin on February 14, perhaps using their enthusiasm to throw a little bit of animated shade at MonteCristo.

Of course, we can’t wait for season two begin either as it’s rumoured there will be even more teams in both the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions to cheer on.

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