Will Doomfist Affect Overwatch Betting Odds?

by Aaron Brooks
on August 12, 2017

If you play Overwatch in any capacity, you are probably aware of the fact that Doomfist just slammed onto the Public Test Realm on PC servers. Blizzard definitely tried to make everyone aware of his new presence with the animated short and a lot of promotion. He’s been hyped up for almost a full year now! Depending on whether or not you’ve played him already, you probably have a shaky opinion about whether or not he’s largely going to impact the current metagame, and thus, the betting odds of Overwatch tournaments.

Spoilers: He Will

I opened up Twitch before I even launched Overwatch to playtest the new character, curious as to what I would see. Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed; I assumed the top-viewed Overwatch stream would be a pro player trying out Doomfist, and that’s exactly what I saw. Thousands of people were tuned in to NA player and (former) Genji main Seagull absolutely destroying online competitive matches. Seagull is an ex-TF2 player that is more of a streamer than he is a tournament competitor, but he’s great to use as an example of this.

Seagull didn’t get exponentially better overnight. He still probably won’t be a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. Doomfist’s release just boosted him up to another level because the character was a great fit for him. This is going to happen elsewhere as well, as this isn’t a unique case. It happens everywhere–Overwatch is certainly no exception.

It’s Not a New Phenomenon by Any Means

We’ve seen this happen a lot of times. In some games, it happens a lot more than others. Games like CS:GO might add new maps, but they don’t often add new guns. Valve isn’t really adding any forced meta shakeups. The DotA 2 champion release schedule is also pretty slow compared to other MOBAs, but they sometimes get their game shaken up by big patches and new additions to the game.

League of Legends, on the other hand, continually releases new champions (and reworks old ones) that seem to shake up the metagame frequently, and hard. The top teams are always going to be the top teams, but a metagame shakeup has the potential to reduce confidence in a player or team. It’s absolutely significant when considering betting. In fact, people are already talking about the new character, Kayn, replacing some old standby junglers in some team’s rosters.

Consider the fighting game community, too. Sometimes, the addition of a DLC character will shoot a player’s standings up higher because that character just “clicks.” (I mean, I’d be dominating my locals if they added El Fuerte to Street Fighter V.) Sure, if you don’t know a game inside and out, maybe you should trust top betters and posted odds; but for a game that you know the details of, you can prove the odds wrong.

This phenomenon is so ancient that it predates DLC and patch updates. If you mained Sagat in Street Fighter Alpha, you would have been scrambling to find a suitable replacement in Street Fighter 3. If you were a Chun-Li or Ken main pre-SF3, you were in heaven once she got moved to the top tier. It works the same way for betting.

Let’s Bring Our Attention Back to Overwatch

Take a look at some team rosters and try to pick out some of them using two guidelines:

  • Teams that often run triple DPS comps
  • Teams that often use a mobile DPS like Genji, Tracer or, God forbid, Sombra

I foresee teams like Fnatic showing more and more impressive showings in the future. In their next tournament, I would consider taking a closer look at their betting odds. If the matches are anywhere close to 1:1, take Fnatic. Hell, I’d bet money that they’re getting work in with Doomfist as you read this.

Cloud9 is another team I’d watch out for. Some people believe that they and Fnatic share a lot of “trade secrets,” including how best to run triple-DPS comps. Seeing a common theme? A lot of the North American meta revolves around that flashy mobility and a lot of DPS. Doomfist is going to slot into these teams just fine.

Outside of the NA region, Misfits and Faze are two teams I’d look out for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the rise on the global stage. I’d be less sure about the rest of the European meta, which seems to favor triple tank. If they don’t adapt to Doomfist, their high health pools won’t matter, especially if they stay clumped up.

There aren’t any major tournaments for a while, but this is important info

Doomfist is still on the test realm, and won’t be available in tournaments for awhile, but it’s important to be aware of these facts if you plan on betting on Overwatch. The surefire bets will still be surefire, but pay attention to the matches with more even odds. Offense mains switching their characters up might give their team a greater edge, especially if the other team is out of practice against Doomfist. He and his big-ass hand are going to force plenty of teams to play around him.

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