How to Get Into Overwatch Esports
So you’ve just finished reading the results of an Overwatch tournament on Damage Inc or watching Overwatch League on Twitch.tv and you’re curious how you can get in on the action and go pro. Esports and is an ever-expanding industry which, despite the polish from the big names, is still in its infancy. Here’s how to get started in esports.
Get Ready to Learn
Each brand new account allows you to play Quick Play, Custom, and Arcade modes. Rank up to level 25 and learn as much as you can about the cast of 29+ heroes, map types, layouts, etc. This will build a strong backbone for you as you enter ranked play.
Climb the Ladder
Once you’ve ranked your account to level 25 you can begin testing your skills in Competitive Mode. Competitive/Ranked play separates players based a skill rating (or SR) system which go as follows:
Bronze – 1-1499
Silver – 1500-1999
Gold – 2000-2499
Platinum – 2500-2999
Diamond – 3000-3499
Master – 3500-3999
Grandmaster – 4000+
Top 500 – Highest ranked players per server (NA, Europe, Asia, etc) PER platform (PC, PS4, Xbox).
Players must at least reach Diamond rank to qualify for Top 500 status. Players at 3000SR and higher will experience decay (loss of SR) if they don’t play roughly 5 games/week.
Once you’ve climbed high enough (at least Diamond) it’s a good time to look for a team to play on. There you’ll learn the game on a higher level and how the six primary roles (main tank, off tank, main dps, flex, dps, main support, flex support) work and play together.
Damage Inc is a great home for tournaments for the serious and those who want to play for fun in an organized setting. Teams should register for Open Division and compete through the circuit. The highest ranked teams get invites to join the Contender’s Trials. There is another path which could work for you as well in the form of academy teams.
Much like the minor leagues in every professional sport, Academy Teams (like XL2 for New York Excelsior) are a talent-development team “overseen” by each OWL team. They can move players in and out of rosters and even trade! Lastly, Kephrii, EQO (Philadelphia Fusion) and JJonak (New York Excelsior) have shown that you can go from minimal organized play to Contenders teams or even Overwatch League Teams. They either jumped from being a popular streamer and top player on the ladder or played in APEX (one of the premier leagues before Contenders) and were picked up from there. Here’s a link to the current Contender’s Ruleset.
There are a few branching paths to pro for those looking to get involved. You can also take place in tournaments on sites like Damage Inc. Coaching, casting, analytics, and even journalism all have similar paths, the point is to keep learning, keep having fun, and keep getting experience!