Q&A with an Overwatch Analyst
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an e-Sports analyst, let alone an Overwatch Analyst.
Today, we chat with Calder, one of the hosts of the Broverwatch podcasts and an Overwatch Analyst. We ask him how did it all begin? Why Overwatch? and his thoughts on the Overwatch League.
Chris: Calder, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let get straight into it! How did you develop such a passion for Overwatch?
Calder: When Overwatch (the game) was released, I knew of it, but I didn’t have much time to play the game. So at the start, it was a side hobby, so to speak. The occasional game, the occasional banter with friends and with fellow players. My interest hadn’t formed into a real passion as yet, however with the advent of the Overwatch League it all changed. I began to play Overwatch regularly, whilst simultaneously watching the Overwatch League game.
Chris: That’s amazing, so something must have triggered inside you when watching Overwatch League games?
Calder: That’s right. I was and still am a huge hockey fan. During my hey day of hockey I loved being a fan of the league as well as playing at the same time. It’s a drive within me, to try and emulate what the professional’s can do. It’s something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and achievement (when I can sort of copy the pro’s LOL). And this is same feeling I get with Overwatch. Co-incidentally, when OWL started I upgraded my computer, played Overwatch regularly with Adam (Broverwatch co-host) and my passion began to grow. I would watch the OWL games, play at the same time and copy some of the pro’s moves (or try to). Adam and I are very competitive, at the same time encouraging of each other when playing Overwatch, coupled with love of talking, we would discuss all aspects of the teams, players and general news surrounding OWL.
Chris: Is this then how the podcast concept was born?
Calder: Exactly! Adam and I spoke about doing something more with Overwatch than simply playing and chatting amongst friends. So we thought “How about a podcast!” At first, we started with creating “comedy” genre podcasts, but we quickly recognised our style was more attuned to being factual, analytical and providing opinion pieces. After Stage 1 of OWL, we began our first serious attempt of the OWL series of podcasts and since then we have released another 5.
Chris: Great stuff! Has it been easy sailing since you started? Seems like you’re on a roll!
Calder: Far from it Chris. It takes a lot of hard work. We put in effort to prepare, cut and re-cut, edit. It’s important to not only have chemistry with Adam offline but to show it to our audience in a podcast format. Its difficult to portray so we are continually developing this. With each episode, Adam and I are getting better each time but we still have a long long way to go in terms of it becoming a polished podcast. As we gain more and more knowledge about the pro scene and of the game, by end of OWL stage 3 our the podcast will be one of the best Overwatch podcasts that will be out there. I don’t think anyone can create great podcasts without a lot of effort, feedback and refinement.
Chris: Really admire your passion, work ethic and dedication Calder. You’ve only created 6 episodes and already you’ve come so far! Let’s turn our thoughts to Blizzard and how they started OWL. Do you think it’s a solid start? Could things be done better?
I think in terms of actual play the OWL is really entertaining and fun to follow. That said, as a fan of the major North American leagues there are two changes that they could implement to improve OWL.
Firstly, a draft. I think the addition of a draft would be fun and easy thing for casual watchers to latch onto and understand. The way to get players into the draft would be, from here on out every player under 20 that wants to enter the OWL needs to go through the draft. An issue with this approach, would be what do you do about the players on Contenders (feeder League to OWL). I think at this point you’d have to say that the farm team players are a part of the respective teams, but if a draft can start from season 2, this will provide a smooth transition.
Every time I get drawn back into basketball it’s around the time of the draft because it’s fun to be an armchair GM and throw out hot takes about who the #1 pick will be. I can see this easily be the same for OWL, and gain the same attraction.
Secondly, the Code of Conduct (or lack of). The precedence that they are setting with the punishments that are being handed out, the most ridiculous of which is the inconsistency between Taimou’s punishment for the use of a gay-slur and xQc’s. This league has some obvious issues in the player punishment department and that’s a must fix whether it be with a players union or a more transparent process for deciding punishments.
Chris: I totally agree with both your points. Having said that, OWL is still in its infancy, so it understandable that they are developing a more formal code of conduct. Perhaps, it should have been a priority to have this bedded down, and anticipate issues like this, than being reactive. I believe in any sport, fans will punish the administration if they don’t show foresight. Your first point about a draft, most definitely agree, which leads me to the question about the Shanghai Dragons. Do they deserve to be in the league?
Calder: Chris of course “Yes”! Why shouldn’t they? This happens in every sport. Look at the Philadelphia 76er’s, they were horrendous for 6 years but look at them now. They’ve built a young team with a lot of promise who I think will challenge for the NBA title in 6 years. The good thing is that the Dragons do look like they will get a win in Stage 3 with the new additions to the team. I guess, in this case it’s good that there is no draft because then we may not have Geguri, Ado, Sky and Fearless coming into the league. In a draft scenario, Shanghai might have just tanked to get the first pick. (One of the down sides of drafts is tanking, but overall the benefit’s outweight the cons, but I digress). What I don’t understand is all the outrage at the start of the season in the Overwatch Community about corruption within the Dragons team and administration. There is no positive to them losing every game because no one will buy jerseys, they will also get the lowest bonus out of every team in the league and won’t make the playoffs. If a team wants to be corrupt and lose in this league, in order to build their fan base, then I’m lost for words. It would be one crazy team owner strategy and goes against common sense.
Chris: yeah, it always confused me with that logic. To deliberately lose in order to “Win” in a business sense? Just doesn’t gel. Who then do you think would be an underdog team ready to surprise the league in the team standings?
Calder: I think that the biggest underdog is the Shock. They’ve been making big moves and this team has a chance of being the 6th seed in the playoffs. They’re starting to play more like a team and have stopped just trying to pocket Babybay which can only help them. They will have a Genji threat in Architect at the start of stage 3 and Sinatraa and Super should give them a lot of flexibility in team comps.
Chris: Go the Shock! And finally your prediction of who will take it all in the inaugural season of OWL?
Calder: It’s very difficult to bet against the New York Excelsior, but stage 1 showed that even they can crumble under pressure. Even after that though, I think they’re still the favourite to win. They’ve got so many good players and there seems to be no weakness in their line up. I think I have to give it to the NYXL. They’re just a stacked team.
Chris: Thanks for your insights today! All the best with the podcasts, and we look forward to seeing who will win Season 1 of OWL. Will it be NYXL or not?