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(Blizzard)

Must Watch Esports: Overwatch League Grand Finals This Weekend!

SEAMUS BYRNE, /BEYOND
27 JUL 2018

Esports is going ballistic in 2018, with massive jumps in crowds, online viewers, participation, and sponsors since this time last year.

One of the big new leagues making its mark is the Overwatch League, one of the first esports to commit to a city-based competition, and this weekend its inaugural season comes to a close.

 

If you've never watched esports, this is well worth checking out.

The whole season took place out of Blizzard Arena, a new studio the company built in Los Angeles. This made some pundits scratch their heads at how a league with teams saying they were from Dallas, San Francisco, New York, London, Shanghai and Seoul could really make fans believe that was part of the story.

But believe they did. Teams have been building strong home city fan bases, holding viewing parties and fan events to get the ball rolling on these city associations. And Blizzard isn't a company to play the short-term game, so these roots will only grow deeper over the years ahead.

But here we are. It's crunch time, and in a surprise final match up we have underdogs Philadelphia Fusion taking on London Spitfire. Two cities with a rivalry that goes right back to the revolutionary war. Does it run much deeper than that?

Fusion had their mega upset in the semi-finals when they knocked off the favourites, New York Excelsior (NYXL). London started the year strong, but faded, and now seem to have found form again to cut through LA Valiant and make the Grand Final. 

 

Whether you've loved the season so far or you've never tuned in, this Grand Final weekend should be a lot of fun to watch. The game is fast-paced and chaotic, but the production has made the game fascinating to watch and shows off polished, elite esports broadcasting presented for anyone to enjoy.

Matches take place both Friday and Saturday evenings in New York. Here's a few timezones to set you straight:

Sydney, Australia: Saturday 9.00am and Sunday 6.00am
London, England: Saturday 12.00am and Saturday 9.00pm
New York, USA: Friday 7.00pm and Saturday 4.00pm
Los Angeles, USA: Friday 4.00pm and Saturday 1.00pm

You can watch directly through the Overwatch League website or through the Overwatch League Twitch channel.

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