Overwatch Discussion: Hero Bans, “Ellie”, and More

The holidays are over, which means I’m back to the Monday gaming posts. For today, it seemed most fitting to discuss some of the latest topics in Overwatch right now. I won’t talk about GOATS. Not really, though it may come up naturally in the conversation about Hero Bans. But GOATS is a tired subject and the only GOAT I want to talk about is Brady before he fades away into retirement somewhere. So, let’s get into this.

The first topic is all about Hero Bans for Overwatch League Season 2. The supporters of this feel as though it can offer more diversity in games, making them more interesting for both players and viewers. People against them worry that bans like no Rein or D.Va will be put into place all the time, which can hurt teams. Where do I stand on it? I’m honestly indifferent to it. There has always been a meta in place. There have always been players who play whatever they want without caring about any meta. Hero Bans will only prevent certain GOATS comps, not get rid of this meta. Metas come and go. Who knows what will happen after the next balance patch? Only Jeff knows. Well, I mean I guess his entire development team knows too… but, you know. Hero Bans could be fun during All-Star Weekend, but otherwise I’m not entirely sure the league should worry about doing this just yet.

Then, there is the whole “Ellie” thing. In case you haven’t heard, Second Wind attracted a lot of attention for signing an relatively unknown female player known as “Ellie”. Seemingly as quickly as she was announced, she resigned due to “toxicity” among players. This lead to an uproar about women in games, a topic I have discussed a few times on here including my own quitting comp due to harassment over being a girl. Rumors started popping up about whether or not this was a real girl, as some things seemed odd about her. (Things such as delayed coms in chat, avoiding public attention…etc.) It turns out she wasn’t who Second Wind thought she was, allegedly a “social experiment” by another unknown player Punisher.

What was this social experiment? No one knows. But what this really does is make things look even worse for girls in gaming, not help us. There are those who think that girl gamers are loving playing the victim, that we are making excuses for our bad play. It’s real; and it sucks. All this does is make it a topic of conversation again for people to ignore and mock. It’s an awful situation to watch unfold and I doubt we’ll ever get any real answers about what went down here.

We are over a month out of Overwatch League Season 2, so let’s start looking forward to this. What are you most looking forward to? Do you think hero bans should exist in OWL? Which team has your support? Here, I’m all about Boston Uprising, with my side support of London Spitfire. (Seriously, Fury is just too amazing.)

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What Blizzard Does Right

When scouring the deep dark places of the internet, otherwise known as reddit (yes, I have finally grown an appreciation for this god-awful app. I like memes.), I was trying to figure out what to write about for today’s gaming article. To be fair, my reddit reading is typically limited to the r/90DayFiance, r/BostonUprising, r/wow and r/CompetitiveOverwatch subreddits though I do find myself on various other ones like r/nottheonion, r/ThisIsUs, and r/GilmoreGirls. Don’t judge. I have a variety of tastes.

Back to the original point. I read through r/CompetitveOverwatch and I considered writing another congratulations to Monte and Susie Kim while berating the culture for how she thought she couldn’t be openly happy with the public because they’d dismiss her many talents and accomplishments. Because women can’t do anything without men. But there was enough of that and they should just be allowed to be happy in private or in public. That wasn’t blog worthy for my needs. I considered talking about the new team reveals, but people seemed to have forgotten that Washington DC and Vancouver even had teams so that didn’t seem too important.

Then I traveled to the r/wow and finally something interested me enough to write about it. A debate about the state of Blizzard. How they just take something that was already there and made it better. That they weren’t innovators, they were “make-betterers”. That’s a valid point. They didn’t do anything that was absolutely original or new. They just did it better. To dismiss that is the same as simply dismissing any of Apple’s products because they aren’t innovative. They aren’t. Though the difference is that Apple products just aren’t better than the other options available. Blizzard is, at this point. Name an MMORPG that is better than WoW. Overwatch is becoming a top eSports game and is considered to be one of the top FPS games. So what if they are remastering Warcraft III? That’s something the fans wanted. Who cares if they are redoing Vanilla WoW? The fans have been begging for it. They could have charged for the game, and people probably still would have bought it. But they didn’t charge us despite the fact this could have been a decent cash cow for them.

Because at the end of the day, that’s what Blizzard does right. They value their fans. The issue is that people expect them to please everyone, and that’s not realistic at all. But they try their best to make the majority of their fans happy. Blizzcon is a testament to this. So many fans couldn’t afford the trip or get tickets in time, so they gave us a digital ticket that does just enough to make us still feel like part of this massive community of fans. Chris Metzen and Mike Morhaime proved their appreciation for fans every time that they walked on stage at Blizzcon or walked around the floor where they happily listened to their fans. Mike always gave the best and teary-eyed speeches as he opened up Blizzcon, something that will be missed. (Please don’t ever stop). I never once questioned whether or not they valued their fans, which is why I’m absolutely a Blizzard fangirl. That’s what they did right. That’s what they continue to do right.

Upgrading the Setup





I know today I usually make a post about actual gaming news or thoughts on topics. But it’s been a slower game week and let’s face it, you don’t need another post about Fallout 76 and the failure that the game is. With NaNoWriMo finishing up, that’s my priority. So today, a quick chat about my stream.



A lot of other gamers I play with have a dual monitor setup. I thought that was excessive. I had my Surface up next to my computer, helping me to complete work assignments/other projects up while I played. If I needed to use something like WoWHead, I would just pull it up on my tablet and call it a day.



With Black Friday, I saw a deal to upgrade my streaming software (XSplit) for a lifetime license for pretty much what I’ve already spent on it. This caused me to switch from XSplit Gamecaster to XSplit Broadcaster, which is apparently more complicated to setup but after a simple video, I got it to how I want it to look in just about 10 minutes. It seemed pretty simple, but the problem was.. I couldn’t figure out how to get my Twitch chat to appear on the screen. My husband, the IT god that he is, suggested that since we had a second monitor we could just plug it in and do a dual monitor set up like the pros. So we did.



Today will be my first stream with this new setup, so I’m hoping for the best. Don’t forget that you can click the link to my Twitch channel on the sidebar. If I can get this to work on other live broadcast sites at the same time, I will also post those links as well.



I don’t stream because I want to be a professional gamer. I stream for brand awareness for my blog, writings, and other works. (I write a lot about brand awareness for my ghostwriting gig, and they say every little bit helps.) I stream to build up authority so a place will discover me and ask me to write about games for their website. If I say, get a sponsor offer from say Dunkin’ I won’t say no. As more viewers tune in, I may consider expanding it. But my focus is my writing. I’m playing the games anyways, so why not?



Next week, back to our regularly scheduled gaming blog where I hope to be discussing the newly announced Winter Overwatch event. (Here’s to hoping.)

Social Media Help For Esports

Some teams have an awesome team behind their social media accounts. As a Boston Uprising fan, I feel as though they have done an amazing job. The Overwatch/Overwatch League teams (and Blizzard team in general) also have a knack for getting information out and actively engaging with their fans. This is just one of many things that I personally love about Blizzard. The problem is that PR on the social media front tends to be a problem for these teams/stars, especially in the Overwatch League and apparently now their Contenders teams.

You may have heard that there’s a new team in town: the Toronto Defiant. I cried a little on the inside when they had Neko in their video releasing info on 2 of their new players. The reveal was well-produced and the hype around it was perfect. This was social media used in an effective manner to achieve awesome results for the team. Even though this worst kept secret was something some Boston fans were hoping was fake. (Which quickly disappeared when Neko referred to HuK as a lying bastard on the internet, but still some of us clung onto hope that Neko would be our fearless Zen/Ana once again.) The Neko incident of calling HuK out on and it going viral on social media is just one of many ways that the PR team has failed players on the social media front. I could go into real life examples of how social media can give people a negative impression on you without the polish of an experienced professional, but I really don’t like to talk politics on Gaming Day.

Way back when DreamKazper did that terrible thing, I pointed out that this was just one of a few examples back then that you have these kids who are impulsive and inexperienced socially (in most cases) who need help navigating the finer points of engaging fans and social media strategies. As an Uprising fan, I can point to NotE and Gamsu as evidence that when a player uses social media properly can grow a massive following without any drama. Gamsu posts images of the beautiful views when he hikes or hilarious images of him missing his flights. Then there is NotE who goes the puppy route and keeps up this wholesome and goofy image that he has. These are players that have either been coached properly on social media PR or ones who just are personable and relatable people with a talent for social media.

Then you have teams like, I don’t know, the Toronto eSports Club who went full nerd-rage on Twitter. “We were told we couldn’t have our name so we quit Overwatch”. They sounded like petulant children. Does it suck that they had to change their name because of the Toronto Defiant? Absolutely. I don’t think it was right that they had to change their name. Throwing a childish fit on Twitter? Probably not the best way to go about it especially if you want sympathy over the situation. Plus, I mean just flat out quitting the game and bashing how awful it is? That brought up a lot of concerns for Uprising fans (and potentially even their players/staff) of what this meant for them since this seemed like a rash overreaction one the part of their academy team. When HuK comes off as a reasonable party in a situation, then you know you’re wrong. This is another case where someone who shouldn’t have a Twitter account while representing other people makes everyone look bad. (Applies to politics today as well.) In case you’re wondering Toronto eSports doesn’t actually own the academy team, the Uprising do. So, this really means nothing.

These teams and players need better social media coaching. Fissure has an awful reputation due to his social media presence. xQc has a reputation due to his online persona where you either love him or hate him. Social media today can make or break your brand if you let it. In a lot of these cases, they are letting it break them. I’m no expert on social media, but I have done enough where I don’t utterly squash the brand I’m trying to build up. If you don’t have the funds or means to get social media professionals to manage the more difficult people, maybe it’s a good idea to at least train them better in these areas. In most cases, the Overwatch League players are freshly 18 with their own income, living on their own, coming into a massive fan base. It can be easy to get caught up in the fame, not realizing the consequences of your actions in the grand scheme of things.

Destiny 2: Why Is It Free?

I’ll give you a quick answer to why it’s being given out for free: because it sucks. Well, at least it has a strong reputation for sucking and the hope is that maybe just maybe people will try it for free and then buy the expansion for it. Free is the best way to convince people that bad PR doesn’t mean the game is bad. So let’s get as much people to download it and keep the free game because at least then we can brag about how many people have downloaded our game.

I kept hearing people say “I won’t even get it if it’s free it’s so bad.” I like free things and I’m willing to give any game a try especially if it’s free. So I did. And I lasted just after the starting area to decide that there was nothing that I liked about the game. It had a rocky start, as I was trying to stream my adventures only to realize for some reason XSplit wasn’t working with it. Then it locked up on me.. maybe 4 times in 10 minutes as I was trying to get started on the game. Maybe I went into it with a biased point of view after those miserable first minutes, but I really really tried to keep an open mind about it.

I play FPS games. I’m not even too terrible at them. I found the aiming to be jittery even after messing with the sensitivity. (I’m a low sensitivity player when it comes to shooters). Maybe the game just wasn’t made for my pickiness when it came to sensitivity. I found the entire game to be jittery and I didn’t like it. I don’t like menus that shake on me when I’m trying to use them. Most of my problems with the game are probably UI related. Then I created what I thought looked like a really cool character, only I couldn’t figure out how to turn the character to really get a good look at her. Nope. Strike 2? (I’m losing count at how much I hate about the game even before I really get started playing.)

My son, who had already hit max level with his game needed to come over to help me. This was the down point of the game. The map wasn’t popping up with my objective on it and there was no indication of what I was supposed to be doing at several points in that starting area. By the 5th time he needed to come over to help, I had already given up on the game. Maybe I’ll pick it up when I’m bored sometime… but probably not.

So to those who are asking “Why Destiny 2 is free?”, there is your answer. I didn’t find the story compelling. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you anything about the story aside from your home has been destroyed. The graphics are mildly pretty and the landscape is decent to look at. I enjoyed that there was some difficulty in shooting the enemies and my patience wore out quickly waiting for them to come out of hiding so I could shoot them. I saw my son and husband play the first one and I thought I could totally get into that. This one is a shadow of that game; a money grab out of hopes that people would have the same awesome reaction as it did for the first one. Or at least purchase the second game just because they liked the first one without any concern if they were putting out crap because at least they got their money. It’s still free for a few more days (November 18th is the last day), so you can give it a try. But don’t say no one tried to warn you.

Was WoW Classic the Home We Were Promised?

Prior to this weekend at Blizzcon, we knew that there would be a playable demo that digital ticket holders would receive. When the demo was first unlocked, there was a time limit to play. Now there isn’t. I played about 2 hours of the demo, a little on each side. I’ll continue to play to enjoy the demo while I still have it. But the question that we all were wondering was “Could we really go home again?”

The first toon I created was a Human priest, the OG Leighanneore. I did have a couple toons that I created before settling on her. One was an Undead rogue, but that got boring quickly. I went to the Alliance side to those cool looking elves, trying out the druid. Again, I wasn’t quite feeling it. I was starting to think that maybe this game wasn’t for me when I first got the game. I was ready to give up. I decided to try a Human priest. I wasn’t quite sure what made me go that route, but my gut told me to. Since that time, over a decade ago, I have remained loyal to my Human priest though the Void Elf makes it really hard to stick to. But if nothing else, I’m loyal.

Naturally when trying out the demo, my first character was a Human priest. After creating (recreating?) Leighanneore, who looks much different back then (maybe it’s all the war and saving the world that has made her younger and prettier), I was boosted to level 15 and dropped down into Westfall. I groaned. I really hated Westfall. Those gnolls and murlocs have a way of never stopping their chase after you and aggroing entire camps of them even if you’re not even close. At first, I took the same approach that I did leveling her as holy. I slowly grabbed one mob at a time and slowly holy’ed them to death. Until I remembered that I had Mind Blast at that level, which made things go a lot quicker. I would dot something to pull it only to remember that back then, dots didn’t matter. My mobs would get stolen left and right and no one would group with me to help. They didn’t care. It was just like Vanilla.

Then there were the people who you could instantly tell never played Vanilla in its true form. They were mass pulling entire camps as hunters, only to die because this is Vanilla not BFA. It was all fun and games until the hunter would feign death and the innocent bystander killing gnolls in my own little corner would die because of their stupidity. They didn’t learn; they continued to do it. Those guys are never going to last when Classic does come out. It’s going to be great.

I did die a lot. It felt like home. There was something comforting in the frustration that I had to actually read quests now. Mostly because back in those days, we didn’t have the quests pop up on the map to tell us where to go. We just had to read to figure it out and when we couldn’t, there was this really awesome site called “thottbot” where we would stalk to figure it out. Or, the classic dungeon guides and books. Yes, we had to read back then. It was awesome.

Then I realized that it was exactly what I had hoped it would be. In the live game, I can mindlessly grind without any real effort being put into the game. You can see that from how quickly I level my characters up. People didn’t have 20 alts in Vanilla. You barely had time for the 1 that you had. You couldn’t hit 20 levels in a day. You couldn’t just spam dungeons in the LFG. You actually had to go to an LFG channel in chat to look for groups. You actually had to zone into a dungeon, which sometimes meant killing elites to get into them. You couldn’t just pull every mob in the area, even with a group especially at lower levels. It was hard. You had to farm and farm to get money, not just have 1000 drop from completing world quests. It was exactly what I wanted.

I was scared that they were going to give us something half-assed; something that would appease the people who only heard of Vanilla in stories. I desperately wanted them to give us that experience that made fans fall in love with the game. Where you formed friendships and bonds with people from all over. Where you need to work together for goals. Being an introvert, I like being able to do my own thing on my own terms with people I just like hanging out with. Back then, I was forced out of my comfort zone to complete “end-game content”. It was great for me because I had to communicate with others to complete goals. I created friends in the later part of Vanilla/early BC, some of which I still talk to all of the time.

They didn’t. They stayed true to the spirit of Vanilla with WoW: Classic and as a long-time fan of the series, I’m so excited. I could play the demo all day and not get bored. I like being frustrated every time a mob kills me out of nowhere. I like that I can’t just keep dotting everything until they die. I’d like to thank the team for being so passionate about doing this for fans. I’d like to thank them for reminding some of us veterans of the game why we love it. Even when we hate it.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll probably be streaming a little bit more of the demo while it’s still around. Right now the first stream is archived on Twitch but it will be uploaded to YouTube by tomorrow.

Standing by Your Team

I am a Boston Uprising fan. (Most Boston teams, in fact. Grats on the World Series Red Sox despite the act I hate baseball.) I backed the team when the whole “Pedo” incident happened, which was easy to do since they cut him not long after the allegations were made public. It was easy to do. They were my team and I was in it for the long haul. I wasn’t a pink hatter. I was going to root for them even if they Shanghai’d for the rest of the season. They didn’t; then went undefeated in Stage 3. They surprised everyone by making it into the Playoffs, finishing the season in 3rd place when everyone thought they would be in last.

There was a rumor about one team having an extreme amount of drama going on, a team that wasn’t the Dallas Fuel. It turns out, that team was my beloved Uprising. A report came out about the treatment of players on the team, specifically when it came to the Korean players. Going into the first season, fans feared HuK would be a problem. He didn’t have the most solid reputation in the gaming world. In fact, he had a pretty poor reputation in eSports.

As a Patriots fan, I’m used to the man Coach Bill Belichick. A man who has been known to have questionable morals when it comes to winning. A man who sometimes toes the line and more often than he should, crosses said line. He makes decisions that we view as harsh and criticize because we don’t understand. It usually works out, but sometimes it doesn’t (/cough Butler). He has a reputation for being aggressive and stubborn and harsh. But, he has built a championship team that has shown results that maybe his way works.

I’m not sure if HuK was inspired by Belichick’s ways or if Kraft wanted him to be like the championship coach. Or if the Kraft family hired him because they reminded him of the coach of their championship team. Whatever the case may be, the allegations against him are tough to read. While there is nothing there that is blatantly against the rules, it toes the line. The fact that we went undefeated in Stage 3 with all of this going on seems incredible to me. Maybe his way can be effective. The story about Striker raging so hard that he constantly broke peripherals was shocking to me, but if things were that bad you can’t blame him. Striker is a passionate player and I hope that he says despite the issues on the team.

I hope that we have Gamsu as our MT still. I don’t want them gone. I don’t want to have that gut punch of Neko appearing in the Toronto Defiant reveal. I knew it was coming, but seeing it stung a little. The rumor is that HuK is trying to get rid of all of the Korean players, which would be a huge mistake. Striker, aside from SBB, is easily a top Tracer. He has shown to be awesome on pretty much every other player they put him on as well. He’s solid, aggressive, and he puts every ounce of his soul into the matches. Papa Gamsu is, in my opinion, the face and leader of the team. The main tank who may not be as strong on Reinhardt, but is arguably a top main tank anyways. I hope they stay and #RiseUp from this behind the scenes drama.

I stand by my team. Do I stand by HuK? If all of these allegations are true, absolutely not. My hope is that this whole thing either makes the Uprising reconsider his position on the team or makes HuK re-evaluate the way he does things. I would love it if we could start season 2 without this dark cloud hanging over our team. I hope that the housing situation gets better for the team. Maybe with the $225,000 prize money, they could invest in better facilities for the team or offer them better benefits. Or, give them a raise or bonus. I also want to see Neko succeed in Toronto because he was definitely an incredible Zenyatta that deserves a lot more credit than he received.