At this stage of the pandemic it’s difficult to care what the next offline LAN title will be, or where it would be held.
It will likely be a phenomenal success, as fans are simply desperate to bring the showmanship and serious competitive spirit back to esports. At this point, it doesn’t matter if that competition hosts Uno or Counter-Strike, just remove the latency and give the fans a showcasing of the greatest skill within a title.
The Overwatch League is ready to take that next step, with the juggernauts of talent (the San Francisco Shock) now reporting that they’ve safely completed their international flight to South Korea (while wearing masks which didn’t kill anybody, to the surprise of eight people on Facebook that equate mask-wearing with fascism) and have settled into their quarters.
Goodbye America off to Korea pic.twitter.com/gtU9iYI5ts
— Matthew DeLisi (@super_OW) September 16, 2020
With first-class international flights, and we cannot stress this enough, masks are visibly shown and worn in every picture coming from the San Francisco Shock, they are leaving little to chance as they begin grinding out their quarantine on frankly less than ideal laptop Frankensteinian setups while they quarantine for the necessary two weeks.
Quarantine setup for 2 weeks time to game pic.twitter.com/wzVuRoi6PA
— Matthew DeLisi (@super_OW) September 18, 2020
The setups, as mentioned, are less than ideal; some have vocalized concerns regarding the ‘less than ideal’ conditions that the players will be grinding with over the next two weeks in preparation for the third Grand Final of the Overwatch League.
— moth (@moth_ow) September 17, 2020
Others are pointing out that it’s likely as good as it can get, considering the circumstances; it would be a difficult facet for organizations to attempt to ship a dozen full PC rigs internationally while ensuring that they’ll still be in a single piece once the players have unpacked.
Further, the players have more than shown themselves to be competent in an array of conditions ranging from standard league play to desperate Finals appearances, online and off; the Shock and their fans have little to be concerned with.
Yet this will be the first time that teams will once again meet up in an offline setting, presuming that nothing suddenly goes awry for Blizzard and staff, in months.
The season was supposed to introduce homestands in new cities every weekend, offering organizations a means to recoup their massive buy-in for the League, yet the pandemic foiled that approach; now the team power rankings have been split into regions and the best team in the League at the moment is uncertain at best.
The Grand Finals are slated to begin on October 8, and run through October 10, finally pitting the best teams in the world against each other in an offline LAN environment. It’s difficult not to be excited, frankly.