Overwatch‘s record-breaking run continues with the game currently attracting a huge share of players at Korean internet cafes, removing League of Legends from the top spot for the first time in four years.
According to Gametrics, a Korean website that tracks and graphs the games being played at over 4,000 different internet cafes (colloquially referred to as “PC bangs”), Overwatch is the go-to game for more than 30 percent of customers, putting it ahead of League of Legends‘ commanding 27.8 percent audience share.
If you’re still thinking “Pffft, internet cafes, that this doesn’t sound like much of a feat,” consider that while we in Australia tend to do our gaming at home, Koreans typically spend the majority of their gaming time in PC bangs. Even more impressive, until Overwatch was able to oust it this week, League of Legends has held the top spot uninterrupted since August 2012.
Further, Koreans regard Blizzard with the kind of reverence other nations might afford royalty. StarCraft has long been considered South Korea’s unofficial national sport, the strategy title giving rise to tournaments, celebrity players, televised matches — what we now know as eSports. Indeed, Blizzard included a nod to StarCraft‘s Korean popularity in Overwatch, with tank character D.Va’s backstory highlighting her former career as a StarCraft pro before joining Overwatch.
Overwatch‘s competitive mode will be rolling out later this month on PC and console. Koreans have been amongst the first to try the mode out in its beta format.
For more on Overwatch, check out our full review.