Overwatch League Season 3 has begun and after two seasons in the Blizzard Arena, pro players are hitting the road.
WIN.gg was in attendance for the New York City Homestand, which featured the New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal, Boston Uprising and London Spitfire. Fans have been anxiously awaiting the start of the third season, to see what the new homestand format would look like.
Most homestands will probably feature similar fan experiences. This includes player meet-and-greets, similar seating arrangements, giveaways during game breaks and, of course, matches with the players right in front of them on-stage.
What does seem to be different is the stage setup, and the particular events that the teams hold.
Fans of the Dallas Fuel were treated to a screen setup very similar to the Grand Finals, where the players are seen on the screens at all times. This is accompanied by the character they are playing, the status of their ultimates, and effects such as stuns, sleeps, and deaths. Meanwhile, New York had a screen that mimicked what fans saw on the stream at home with, no additional frills.
Dallas also hosted an entire convention-style event that housed matches from high school and collegiate teams which included games outside of Overwatch. It also had a soda station, hammer swinging, player interaction, and Overwatch-themed food selections.
New York’s homestand wasn’t without its charms, though. Fans were greeted with a huge screen upon entrance which featured NYXL graphics and created a great backdrop for photos. They also had player signings and photos, and even a claw machine with prizes inside.
Although an accurate number wasn’t given, NYXL staff estimate 2,500 tickets were sold between the two days, which indicates that New York’s esports scene isn’t going anywhere.
Week 2 will find fans in Philadelphia, but the matches in Shanghai have been cancelled due to the threat of the Coronavirus. There is no word yet on whether those matches will be played.