The Overwatch League Community Countdown is Off to a Rough Start

Off-role picks, pacifist encounters, and meme-worthy gameplay define day 1 of the Overwatch League Community Countdown.
Overwatch League Preseason
Luke Croft

Luke Croft

Luke will run up the score on you in Madden and instalock D.Va 98% of the time. Proud purchaser of 3 Vitas.

The Overwatch League kicked off their five day preseason event, the 2019 Season Community Countdown, earlier today. Blizzard announced the event on Thursday and said that the first two days would feature all 20 teams competing in a best-of-three map set advertised as “practice scrimmages.”

However, it became clear from the very first map that fans were not going to see anything close to the product they can expect to catch when they tune in on Valentine’s Day. Afraid of revealing their strategies on stream, teams instead opted to play with very little effort by choosing off-role heroes, playing 6 DPS, and in some instances even choosing not to fight at all.

The meme-filled day split the Overwatch community with some seeing this laid back fun as just a by-product of the fact that these matches didn’t matter and that any real effort would give opposing teams too much of a competitive advantage for the regular season. Others saw it as disrespectful to fans that have waited for months for the Overwatch League to return.

Games throughout the day were largely uneventful, and for fans of competitive Overwatch, downright frustrating to watch. The San Francisco Shock vs. Washington Justice match had several disappointingly noteworthy moments, from dualing Torb hammers to Smurf and Ado caught in an infinite damage loop on Hollywood.

The events of the day didn’t just leave fans wanting more, even Overwatch League Commissioner, Nate Nanzer had something to say about the effort being put forward by his league.

And just like that, the entire format of the first two days of the Community Countdown were spun on its head and the player’s alienated by their disappointed commissioner. This is not a great start for the second season of the Overwatch League, but it will likely all be forgotten when the regular season kicks off this Saturday.

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