Overwatch League’s First-Ever MVP Illustrates Its Support Problem

Image: NYXL

NYXL support actor Sung-hyeon “JJonak” Bang is a monster. He came out of nowhere during Overwatch League’s initial deteriorate and single-handedly redefined a approach people understand brotherly robo-monk Zenyatta, transforming him into a lightning-handed murder machine. The joining has only awarded him as a first-ever “MVP,” yet what’s uncanny is, we haven’t seen him play as many as many other players.

Game footage from JJonak’s indicate of perspective appears in broadcasts distant some-more than other support players in a league. But that is an intensely low bar to clear, given that supports like Zenyatta and Mercy frequency get many airtime during all. JJonak stands out since he’s a singular support who can double as a DPS, and damage-dealing characters tend to get showcased a lot during diversion broadcasts.

Unlike many other support players, JJonak mostly snags only as many—and on some occasions, more—eliminations than his teammates. When he pops off and orb-literates everyone, it’s camera-friendly. In some cases, though, we don’t indeed see JJonak popping off right when it happens. The broadcasters don’t keep a camera on him as mostly as they do with DPS players, yet if a commentators see a spike of activity from JJonak in a killfeed, they’ll burst to a replay from his indicate of view.

I adore examination JJonak collect detached a rivalry group with well-placed orbs. Maybe he could’ve been a vital joining pitcher in another life. Still, focusing on these adorned killstreaks deprives viewers of a incomparable context. Sometimes, commentators quickly explain how JJonak or his teammates set adult his large moments, yet we frequency see that setup. We’re mostly left to consternation how he done it all happen. What was his positioning and scale government like, heading adult to that furious flank? How did he equivocate dying? How a dang heck did he do it with Zenyatta, of all characters?


It’s inconceivable that these kinds of questions still approximate Overwatch League’s undisputed Zenyatta god-king. One could disagree that this patience allows JJonak and other supports to seem all a some-more mysterious, yet during a same time, it downplays a value of what support players can do. The other healers who play defensively rather than aggressively get showcased distant less. The league’s commentators and camera organisation are keenly wakeful of JJonak’s reputation, so he gets some-more adore than most. Meanwhile, other top-tier Zenyattas like Unkoe and Bdosin languish off-screen, their points of perspective relegated roughly exclusively to replays in some matches. That’s to contend zero of Mercy players, whose points of perspective we fundamentally never see, unless they make an positively essential play or whip out their pistol and explode a Pharah.

It’s an distinct dilemma. Esports need to be watchable, and DPS players put on adorned performances, hacking by rivalry backlines with glow-in-the-dark cyber swords and clicking heads with superhuman accuracy. A impression pulling off a prolonged killstreak is also something that tends to be easy to visually parse, even for newcomers. Supports, on a other hand, spend a lot of time given to bleeding allies and re-positioning to assistance set adult large plays. They’re not accurately thrill-a-minute viewing.


But among all of Overwatch’s chaos, supports are a glue that binds teams together. They’re personification during astoundingly high levels too, and a joining needs to figure out a improved approach to showcase that—and not only when Zenyatta players confirm to quickly renovate into golden DPS fight gods. Some fans have suggested viewer-controlled, player-specific camera options that would concede audiences to, for example, concentration on supports’ POVs. Fans suspicion they’d be removing this choice as partial of Twitch’s $30 All Access Pass, yet instead, a pass only gives we dual team-focused points of perspective instead of one. Bummer.

Even if toggling actor POVs does turn an option, though, it won’t assuage a problem of supports removing underappreciated in a Overwatch League. It’s adult to broadcasters and commentators to prominence and improved explain how difficult and tactical support decision-making processes can be. It’s also on Overwatch’s developers to emanate support abilities that inspire constrained tactical play and are adorned in their possess right—rather than attaching support abilities to kits where DPS abilities mostly sow a spotlight (see: Brigitte, whose armoring abilities hardly register compared to her knockback-inducing big, absolute beat strikes and bashes).

I’m blissful JJonak is OWL’s initial MVP, and it’s to a league’s credit that fans seem to be in near-unanimous agreement that he deserves it. But a joining could be doing a many improved pursuit of showcasing supports overall, and we wish it focuses on DPS-ing down this problem in a future.

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