There is an Experimental Overwatch Card Tournament?!

This March, Overwatch fans get to enjoy a pretty unique event – the organisers themselves are calling it an Experimental Overwatch Card Tournament. Now obviously Activision-Blizzard has plenty of experience with card games… and esports in general of course.

They have some of the biggest esports on the planet under their brand… and yet, for some reason, they did this. This being the upcoming experimental Overwatch Card Tournament. They gathered a bunch of pros and influencers, content creators and OWL members, and had them discuss what they wanted to change about the heroes in the game.

Now, every player will have a few ideas of how the game could be improved, but let’s be honest – deep down most of us know that our changes wouldn’t necessarily make the game better overall, just better or easier for US. There, we said it.

Overwatch League Experiment

To card or not to card?

This panel of experts, however, was quite serious – they came up with a whole bunch of changes that fans will be able to play from March 22nd to 29th. Now where, are you wondering, are the cards? Absolutely nowhere. The whole thing is just called an Experimental Card. That’s it – some 45 balance changes to heroes that players in-game can select just like any other game mode, except this one is called a card.

Well, there is one difference – the Flash Ops Experimental Card Tournament happening this weekend. Participating players will be playing with the changed heroes of course – and anyone can join and take part if they want to. You may even end up playing with or against some OWL pros – all 20 teams have at least 3 of their players competing in the event. There’s even a prize pool of $40k… but really, the far more interesting thing here are the actual changes made by the panel of expert (or semi-expert) players.

Almost every hero got some changes, but just the fact that Doomfist was one of the few who WASN’T changed tells us a lot about how this is going to go down. Some of the changes made sound absolutely solid – even the fact that they made Wrecking Ball smaller and removed Reaper’s Shadowstep voice line makes sense. The massive buff to Genji and Hanzo’s ultimates on the other hand are a lot less balanced – not to speak of the fact that Bastion was just made faster while healing himself.

The reactions

Not entirely surprisingly, reactions on Twitter were somewhat… unpleasant. While plenty of people are excited to see how it all plays out, there are also plenty of voices like this:

Some remain optimistic:

Historically, Blizzard has shown some difficulty in balancing heroes, with overly powerful nerfs and buffs left and right – and now their first attempt at really listening to the audience doesn’t seem to be going so well either.

A lot of fans are arguing that it would be better to have this sort of thing determined entirely by active OWL players, rather than by streamers and content creators – but either way, most are happy to sit and watch the world burn in the upcoming tournament. You can catch it on all the official streaming channels – six featured matches will be shown and cast during the event.

Although bookmakers do not offer esports betting odds on this tournament and therefore it will not be possible to bet on Overwatch, we think it is interesting to analyze the reaction of users to this experimental tournament.

Mel Hawthorne Avatar
Written by
Mel Hawthorne

View all posts by Mel Hawthorne