You must be wondering, “my child plays Overwatch… but how can I even begin to understand it?”
Thankfully, this guide will give you a few of the best tips for understanding Overwatch, from what it is to a bit of Overwatch lingo, so that you and your child can be on the same wavelength when it comes to conversing about the game.
So, to start off: what is Overwatch?
Overwatch is a player versus player (PVP) first-person shooter team game released by the game developer company Blizzard Entertainment in May 2016. Since then, the game has attracted thousands of players around the globe, immediately establishing their own Esports scene soon after.
Today, Overwatch is one of the Esports being offered in colleges and is a game that can be pursued as a professional career.
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An Evolution Of First-Person Shooter Video Games And Overwatch As An Emerging Esport
Overwatch is definitely not the first first-person shooter (FPS) game to be made, but its gameplay and mechanics were quite novel during its release. It isn’t a tactical shooter like Counter-Strike, where even the tiniest step matters. It’s not even like Call of Duty, where you have to shoot enemies as you progress through a storyline.
A basic game of Overwatch consists of two teams who have to either attack or defend certain locations, which sounds simple in essence, but having to fight through various maps using various heroes ups the ante of each game.
Overwatch is different in the sense that it has borrowed elements from popular games at the time and made something new. The concept of two teams battling it out in various game modes (such as capture the flag and king of the hill) were inspired by Team Fortress 2. The concept of “heroes” being used can be seen from games like League of Legends, which entailed the use of a readymade player instead of having to go through the usual FPS gameplay that required you to buy or pick up guns and equipment. In Overwatch, each character has different skills and ultimates.
From then on, lead developer and director Jeff Kaplan and his team molded the game into what it is today: an Esport celebrated across the world.
What Makes Overwatch A Great Esport?
The team behind Overwatch have carefully crafted the game– and the community around it– such that it can grow into the realm of Esports. In fact, Blizzard has invested a lot into creating and maintaining a good foundation for Overwatch as an Esport.
Apart from Blizzard’s continuous effort, the game’s popularity has caught even the eye of casual gamers, broadening the reach of players and attracting different audiences.
Overwatch may have stayed popular due to its fun and unique gameplay, but one of the aspects that attracted fans to the community were its endearing characters and its futuristic hero-filled lore that can be enjoyed by mostly everyone.
With all of these key components merging together in a single game, topped off with the continuous support of the game’s player base and fans, Overwatch has been and still is considered an outstanding Esport.
What Are Some Of The Key Phrases Or Lingo Associated With Overwatch?
Since Overwatch is a whole world on its own, it’s not a surprise to find that it comes with some lingo of its own. Thankfully, most words and phrases are shared across games, which make them easier to understand.
Here’s a short list of some Overwatch lingo you need to know so that you can hold a conversation with your little (or not-so-little) Overwatch gamer:
What Does “Cooldown” Mean In Overwatch?
In Overwatch, you get to play as “heroes” who can use skills unique to them. Most skills have what you call a “cooldown”, which is the time it takes before you can use a skill again (after using it). So, for example, you’re using the “cyborg ninja” hero Genji and you activate his skill, “Swift Strike”, which causes you to make a long dash forward, damaging opponents along the way. You will then have to wait 8 seconds before you can use this skill again– that is your cooldown time. Once your cooldown is done, you can use Swift Strike again.
What Does “Bunker” Mean In Overwatch?
In Overwatch, it’s normal to discuss strategies with your teammates, especially when it comes to which heroes to pick, and what moves to consider. “Bunker” in Overwatch is a type of team composition and strategy where a team decides to be more on the defensive than the offensive, picking heroes that are more viable for shielding and tanking than providing big damage.
What Does “Chokepoint” Mean In Overwatch?
Since Overwatch is the type of game where players have to go through the map and capture or defend points, parts of the map that are “chokepoints” become integral in the game. Chokepoints are locations the map that are narrow or tight spots that make it difficult for an opposing team to pass through. Such points act as a funnel, and are usually the toughest to go through, given a solid defense. Chokepoints are usually where most of the crucial action happens in a round of Overwatch.
What Does “DPS” Mean In Overwatch?
DPS stands for Damage Per Second, which refers to the damage a hero or a team can make per second. If you have a high DPS, that means you can deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time. In Overwatch, there is a category of heroes called DPS, which means these heroes are expected to deal high damage in a short amount of time when used correctly.
What Does “Flanker” Mean In Overwatch?
When you’re a “flanker”, you’re choosing to use your character to “flank”. When you “flank”, that means you don’t approach the enemy head on. Instead, you try to look for opportunities to hit them from behind, from the side, or from anywhere that can surprise the enemy. Stealthy characters are often used as flankers since they can go in and out of a given position easily. Of course, other characters can be played as flankers, too, with a little practice and the proper maneuvers.
What Does “Hooked” Mean In Overwatch?
In Overwatch, there is a character called Roadhog who has the skill called “Chain Hook”, which he can use to hook any hero from the enemy team. Characters who are “hooked” will be unable to move during the duration of the hook, additionally reeling them closer to Roadhog.
What Does “Healing over Time” Mean In Overwatch?
Overwatch has a handful of heroes who exist primarily to support and heal their teammates, which makes the term “Healing over Time” relevant in the game. Similar to the term DPS, healing over time refers to the amount of healing a character does over time. If your character can heal a lot over time, then that means they are able to heal more amounts of Health Points (HP) over a span of time.
What Does “META” Mean In Overwatch?
The “meta” in Overwatch (and in nearly every other game out there) is what you call the “most efficient strategy”. Usually, the meta can range from using a certain team composition in a certain map, or it can be using a certain hero with a particular skill that can be used (and mostly, abused).
The meta usually evolves due to developer changes in the effort to “balance” the game. Similar to games like League of Legends, the Overwatch developers update and tweak their heroes, sometimes even adding new heroes to the roster every once in a while. These changes tend to make a huge impact to the meta, allowing the player-base to rethink their usual strategies.
What Does “Peeling” Mean In Overwatch?
When one of your teammates is in a vulnerable position, you can opt to take the attention of their attacker away from them, hence, you’re “peeling” their attacker away from them. You can do this by going between the attacker and your teammate so that you can take damage instead of them, or by simply attacking your attacker head on, diverting their attention to you.
What Does “Shot-caller” Mean In Overwatch?
In Overwatch, you can “endorse” your teammates (and even your enemies!) for doing a good job. One of these endorsements is the “shot-caller” endorsement. This endorsement is intended for those players who are communicative about what to do next, or how to proceed with a certain objective. They tend to be those who lead the group effectively– sometimes not even through voice chat or text chat, but through outstanding actions.
What Does “Squishies” Mean In Overwatch?
“Squishies” are usually what you call characters that have a relatively lower health pool than others. In Overwatch, tanks generally have high health (ranging from 400-600 health points), while most DPS and support heroes have around 150-200 health points, which makes them easier to eliminate.
Are There College-Level Varsity Esports Teams for Overwatch?
Today, there are a lot of colleges and universities offering courses and even scholarships for dedicated Overwatch players. These are often varsity-level and are usually for those who intend to play Overwatch professionally.
Examples of schools that offer Overwatch scholarships are Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University in Illinois, and Bellevue University in Nebraska. There are a lot more than these schools, so it’s best to check schools that your child is interested in if they want to pursue a career in Overwatch Esports!
Does That Mean My Child Could Go To College On A Full Overwatch Scholarship?
Not all schools offer full Overwatch scholarships. Some schools offer partial scholarships, where part of the school’s tuition fees will be paid by them. On the other hand, some schools are aggressively looking for Esports players that have big potential, opting to offer such players full scholarships.
How Many Players Are On An Overwatch Team?
Both casual and competitive Overwatch games require six players in a single team.
As for Overwatch Esports teams, they typically consist of more than six people since there can be bench players and players can alternate to form teams of six, depending on their roles.
Overwatch 2, the next installment of Overwatch (which has yet to be released), plans to reduce the team count to 5.
How Long Does An Overwatch Game Last?
A casual Overwatch game can last for as short as 5 minutes and as long as 30 minutes, depending on the circumstances and the mode of play. A competitive match, which is normally played in a “best of three” format, can last from 20 minutes to an hour.
Is There A Tutorial I Can Watch To Help Me Understand Overwatch?
A good tutorial can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_lrilSEqOE.
Basically, the mechanics of the game are pretty simple. There are four modes of play, which depends on the type of map you end up playing on: Assault, Escort, Hybrid, and Control.
In an Assault map, an attacker team has to capture locations (called “objectives” in the game) from a defender team, whose goal is to keep watch of these objectives.
In an Escort map, an attacker team aims to escort a “payload” or vehicle from the beginning of the map until the end, while the defender team aims to stop the attacker team from reaching the end of the map with the payload before the time runs out.
A Hybrid map is a mix of both an Assault Map (attacker team has to capture, defending team has to defend), and an Escort Map (if the attacker team manages to capture the first objective, they can escort a payload on that objective towards the end of the map).
Finally, a Control map has a single objective found at the center of the map. Sometimes called “King of the Hill”, either team’s goal is to be able to capture and defend the objective until either of their meters reaches 100%.
Characters you can use fall under one of three categories: DPS, Support, and Tank. The way you play the game alongside your team varies depending on the role you choose to play.
Is Overwatch Free?
Overwatch is a paid game that can be played on the PC, and on consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch).
Overwatch also has in-game purchases, but these don’t affect the gameplay in any way and are purely cosmetic. Overwatch employs a loot box system, which allows for players to use real life currencies to purchase loot boxes which give a random assortment of aesthetic items, such as character skins, character voice lines, player icons, victory poses, and more. Alternatively, loot boxes can be earned in-game by playing more games and leveling up.
Is Any Special Equipment Needed to Play Overwatch?
If your child opts to play Overwatch on a desktop or laptop, they will need nothing more than a decent graphics card, a mouse, and a keyboard– and they’re good to go! If they opt to play on a console, of course they’ll need the appropriate controller for the game.
That’s all the tips we have for Overwatch! Thank you for reading through! I hope you found these tips helpful in understanding even the basics of the game. Who knows, you might even end up playing Overwatch with your child someday! If you’ve already tried playing with your child, or if you have any more tips and tricks up your sleeve when it comes to anything Overwatch-related– both as a player and as a parent– feel free to drop them down in the comments section below!