BRENJI OUTDATED, BRIDOWMAKER ACTIVATED
For anyone new to the All-Stars event, the visual of analyst Brennon "Bren" Hook strutting into the arena in spandex leggings was an immediate indicator of what the next two days would be like. To kick off the event, broadcast talent took to the stage and faced off against each other in the Talent Takedown presented by T-Mobile.
Across both teams, one analyst-turned-player in particular stood out. Bren, playing for the Atlantic side, hit his stride as Widowmaker on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, surprising everyone with his accuracy and singlehandedly tearing through the Pacific team.
"Bren probably played the best game of Overwatch he's played... ever," San Francisco Shock tank Matthew "Super" DeLisi remarked. "I don't know if this [performance] is a regular thing, but... good job, Bren."
Super's not the only one who was impressed; clearly, Bren will have to spend the next few weeks fielding offers from Overwatch League teams.
Hey @BrenCasts are you LFT? DM us.— Toronto Defiant (@TorontoDefiant) May 16, 2019
THE DAY REMAINS UNSEIZED
Bren's astonishing turn on Widowmaker was just the start of a full day of Widowmaker highlights. The Talent Takedown presented by T-Mobile was followed by a series of Widowmaker 1v1s between the league's top players, including hitscan legends Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" Lee of the Philadelphia Fusion and Do-Hyeon "Pine" Kim of the New York Excelsior.
Shanghai Dragons DPS Min-Sung "Diem" Bae blazed through his opponents to make it to the finals, and fans began to hope for a Carpe vs. Diem final matchup (for the narrative!), but New York Excelsior's Yeon-Gwan "Nenne" Jeong had other ideas.
Surrounded by his teammates on the Atlantic Division, who cheered exuberantly every time he scored a kill, Nenne narrowly defeated both Carpe and Pine in two nail-biting matches. Though he ultimately fell to Diem, the excitement and camaraderie surrounding Nenne's upset victories made his run something to remember.
The Atlantic and Pacific players went on to compete in the All-Star Arcade presented by State Farm, which included Healers Never Die, a custom game with only support heroes. Both teams fielded all-support lineups, except for New York's main tank Dong-Gyu "Mano" Kim.
The Pacific team's supports reigned supreme as they won Nepal with a 2-1 scoreline. Washington Justice support Yeon-Jun "Ark" Hong took to Twitter after the match to jokingly blame his former teammate for the loss.
@Mano_OWL is a feeder. speedboost and go by himself.— ArK (@Arkyjun) May 16, 2019
Mano grinned at the mention of the faux-accusatory Tweet. "I don't care what he says, [because] it's been so long since I've played support. If I practiced more, I could be a really good Lúcio too!"
The Pacific team's victory was due in large part to some heroic plays by Vancouver Titans support Seong-Jun "Slime" Kim, who Mano pointed to as being the Pacific team's best player. Lúcio dominance… successfully asserted.
SIX TANKY BOYS
The third arcade mode,Terrible, Terrible Damage, took place on Hollywood and featured only damage heroes. So, naturally, the Pacific Division fielded a team with five main tanks, the role most known for raw mechanical skill.
"I can do a lot on McCree, believe it or not," Super bragged beforehand. "My Genji as well, quite flashy—and my Widow."
"Are you going to reach the heights of Bren?" I asked.
"I'll surpass him," Super said.
Super and the other Pacific Division tanks set out to prove that tank players can aim, a mission that ended in moderate success. The mixed nationalities meant that the comms were jumbled, with Hangzhou Spark's Qiulin "Guxue" Xu using Korean callouts out of habit and the Vancouver Titans' Sang-Beom "Bumper" Park shouting expletives in English, but the whole team would yell in unison without fail whenever someone got a multi-kill.
IT'S HIGH NOON—PERMANENTLY
The final arcade mode of the day was Keeping the Peace, taking place on Route 66 and featuring six McCrees pitted against six McCrees—you know, like in official Overwatch lore.
Yells of "McCree one! McCree dead!" rang through the dugout. London's Jun-Young "Profit" Park watched critically, arms crossed, and remarked, "Which McCree are they talking about?"
The Pacific team's primary strategy was to accrue all six Deadeyes, then use them all at once. The Atlantic team's method of dealing with this was to then use their own ultimate abilities in response, making for a hectic spectator experience.
It was the Pacific team seizing victory in the end, winning the All-Star Arcade presented by State Farm 3-1, and ending the day 2-1 over the Atlantic Division. The All-Star Game is today at 6 p.m. PDT, and though it promises to be a little more competitive, the much more relaxed atmosphere has been a great way to wrap up the first half of the season.