The pre-Overwatch status quo seems to have returned to Korean PC Bang percentages, with League of Legends the clear No. 1 played game and Overwatch not close behind it.
From April to June, League of Legends has held a firm grip on PC Bang play rates, regardless of Overwatch’s fifth competitive season starting at the end of May. According to Daily eSports’ weekly recaps of PC Bang play rate percentages of the last three months, League of Legends has never dropped below 29 percent, and Overwatch has hovered mostly between 23 to 25 percent. In the most recent report, League of Legends was at 30.50 percent, and Overwatch was second at 26.45 percent.
This is a stark contrast from first few months after Overwatch’s release last May, as Overwatch was at the top for weeks at a time. Sometimes, the gap between the two games was within a percentage point. League of Legends surged above 30 percent in February for the first time in months, and it remained No. 1 a month after the start of Overwatch’s fourth competitive season in March. Although Overwatch is still one of the most popular online games in Korea, it appears the age of Blizzard dominance is no more.
The phenomenon isn’t without outside help, though. Overwatch is rated ages 15 or above, which cuts the PC Bang demographic by a significant margin, as it is comprised of elementary and middle school children. Even when those children found ways around the age limit — usually making Battle.net accounts located in North America to circumvent the age issue — PC Bang patrons would report them to the police, leading to their removal and some businesses posting signs on the doors warning underage customers.
Blizzard Korea also made it so that all North American accounts played in Korean servers must have purchased the game. That addressed the problem of users making multiple accounts to avoid bans because a Korean Battle.net account is tightly connected to the user’s personal information.