I talk a lot about how one of my biggest goals as a parent is to share as many memorable experiences with my kids as possible. Today we went to watch Overwatch League at Blizzard Arena and as a family of nerds who love video games, it may be one of my new favorite things to do with my family!
Just as you’d take your kids to a ball game or other sporting event, Overwatch League is an incredible way to encourage our young gamers and share in an activity they enjoy. So I wanted to share our family’s experience attending a live Overwatch League event as well as explain a bit about what the league is for those who might be less familiar.
What is Overwatch League
The Overwatch League is an international esports league made of 20 teams. These teams consist of the best Overwatch players in the world. The season begins in February and ends in the Fall with post-season playoffs. 2019 is the second year of the league’s existence and it is quickly becoming one of gaming’s most popular esports.
How to watch Overwatch League
Overwatch League is streamed on Twitch, ESPN, Disney XD and on the official Overwatch League website and app. Just like other sports, the league events take place in an arena that is open to fans to purchase tickets and watch in person if possible. The majority of the events are currently held at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, CA so it’s not easily accessible for everyone to see live, but if you are in the Southern California, it’s an affordable family-friendly experience that I highly recommend.
Living in the digital age is such a marvel and seeing an esports event live feels like the culmination of that. Surrounded by screens, watching young gamers be taken seriously for their skill in the art of video games, expert announcers and commentators, fans cheering… I can’t help but feel like it validates and legitimizes my entire generation and our love for gaming culture. And I love being able to nurture that in my kids as well.
Attending an Overwatch League Event
Tickets for Overwatch League can be purchased in advance via overwatchleague.com. The seats are not assigned, but you will be ushered to a seat by staff upon entry. Because the event is streamed live, they fill floor seats and sections that will be seen on camera first. That said, it is a small arena with enormous screens so there really are no bad seats.
There are multiple games per event and many people will come just to see one particular match and then leave. Ushers will then need to fill more floor seats. At this point, you may be asked to move closer. (it’s optional of course, but we had this happen to us and the floor seats are AMAZING).
Outside food and drink are not allowed in the arena at all and your bags will be checked. We saw an unfortunate woman in front of us have to part with an unopened box of Mike and Ikes. It was tragic. There is however food for sale inside and available for purchase through concessionsblizzardarena.com. The website allows you to order food from your phone while in the arena. You can continue watching the games as it’s prepared. The you’ll receive a text to pick it up from the concession area when it’s ready.
What it’s like at an Overwatch League Live Event
The atmosphere is very laid back and casual. You will see different types of fans. Some decked out in Overwatch gear, some dressy, some casual jeans and t-shirts. I saw fans ranging in age from 6 years old (the youngest allowed in) to well past middle age. So this is truly an event that welcomes everyone that is interested in checking it out. There is definitely cheering, but the vibe is calm and not at all rowdy which is just my speed.
To be completely honest, this wasn’t even a blog post I’d planned on writing. I just really wanted to share how incredible this experience was for my family. We’re always looking for new things to do with our kids and this was truly unique. Vince, Norman, and Caleb all play Overwatch and Zoe and I enjoy the character shorts and storylines. But even with it already on our radar, attending a live Overwatch League game was not something I’d considered. Thankfully a close friend offered us tickets and opened up a new world. I am so glad we went and I’m excited to share how epic it felt to be in the midst of it all. I’m really looking forward to checking out more esports events as well. If you’re looking for something to do with your family, don’t overlook Overwatch League or other live esports as a possibility.