Why I love Overwatch's Play of the Game

I love Play of the Game in Overwatch, that clip of someone doing something extraordinary during the battle you just had. I love the nervous little wait before you find out whose play has been picked. Will it be yours? Some games you know it won’t because you had a stinker, but in other games – sometimes the stars align and enemies clump together like cat litter as your finger reaches for your ultimate ability. You think it’s enough but has someone gone one better? Then there it is! There you are! The chosen one! Name in lights. Validation and recognition all in one smug lump.

Overwatch packages the kind of “OMG!” moments you tell your friends about, and it stores them temporarily in a Highlights section, meaning you can record them and share them wider among the community if you want. And people do. It’s become a kind of language for the game, because, well, what says ‘I did something awesome’ better than a video clip of you doing it?

Not only are the videos easy for people outside of the game to appreciate – great skill is great skill, regardless – they’re also good for giving tips to people inside the game. Look how player Kisner as character Reinhardt, who’s a melee tank, takes down five people in this clip. He pops his ultimate that knocks everyone over and then he lines them up for his charge, which pins and kills them – and sends someone else over the edge of the map in the process. Top marks. I’ll try that.

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That’s a good play, but this, by player Hysteriaava as the character D. Va, is incredible. The drawback of D. Va’s exploding mech ultimate is that it swells before it blows, so people have time to get behind cover. But what Hysteriaava does is use D. Va’s fly ability to send the swelling suit up and over a wall towards the central control point, and as the mech lands, it blows, taking out nearly an entire team with it. They had no chance. Unbelievable.