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The game Pokimane says will kill Overwatch

Popular Twitch streamer Pokimane has a feeling that an upcoming game could potentially signal the end of Overwatch's time in the spotlight. That game is none other than Riot Games' new shooter, Valorant. She expressed this anticipation in an appearance on the Offline TV Podcast when the topic of Valorant (and its similarities to Overwatch) came up.

Pokimane expressed dissatisfaction with where Overwatch stands today when compared to a few years back. "I think [Valorant] might be the Overwatch killer ... The more I think about it, and I think about Overwatch's decline, [Valorant] is just going to be the last nail in the coffin, really," she said.

While the rest of the panel seemed to agree that Overwatch had lost much of its former glory, everyone seemed a little hesitant to fully hop on board with the idea of Valorant being a full-on "Overwatch killer." The general consensus from the other panelists seems to be that Overwatch is on its way out already, regardless of Valorant's intervention.

Honestly, the debut of a new game isn't the only thing out there that is poised to have an effect on Overwatch's following. Just last month, Blizzard announced that all Overwatch League matches in China would be canceled due to ongoing health concerns. Though many Overwatch League matches have been rescheduled to take place online for the time being, this is just one of many ways in which the coronavirus outbreak has continued to have a negative impact on the gaming industry. It just so happens that Overwatch is feeling these effects when we are on the cusp of a potential competing game's release.

As we've covered before, Valorant looks to be incorporating elements of several majorly successful shooters. The game takes some of its cues from the "hero-based" gameplay of titles like Overwatch and Apex Legends, featuring a colorful cast of characters with their own unique and wild skill sets. However, Valorant also looks to embrace the hardcore mechanics of tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Valorant will be placing an emphasis on sharpshooting, giving all of its characters the same hitboxes and rewarding players for well-aimed bullets. 

In other words, Valorant appears as though it's looking to be all things to all gamers. If you take Pokimane's words to heart, it appears that the hype may already be doing that for some gamers.

As podcast panelist William 'Scarra' Li explains, one of the most freeing things about Valorant is that it is a new game, so there's a certain joy of discovery that will come with its release. There's a chance to figure things out for yourself and to not feel like you're being held to the same standards that you would be while playing an established game like Overwatch. It could be a chance for casual gamers to hop back in with their friends without feeling like there's so much riding on it.

"When you look at the games that you play with friends, it's, like, actually so small ... If you have, like, a full lobby, you could play Overwatch together, you could play CS:GO ... [But] I feel like it's easier to play a game ... like Valorant, right?" said Scarra. "It's a new game, there's so much hype around it."

Then again, we don't really have a game to base these feelings on yet. The excitement for Valorant continues to build, but we won't know for sure how effective the title is until we can all play it for ourselves. The hype alone may not be enough to truly bring everyone on board this line of thinking.

The problem with declaring something "the ___ killer" is that it then places a certain amount of expectation on it, which may not even be in line with the goals of the developer.

Before its launch last year, Apex Legends was being referred to as a possible Fortnite killer. And while Apex is still going strong, adding the new character Revenant and bringing some cool changes to its fourth season, Fortnite continues to truck along. Sure, some of this is due to changes Fortnite made to compete with Apex Legends, but the fact remains that Fortnite hasn't been killed.

On the complete opposite side of that coin, we have a game like Bioware's Anthem. That game was hyped up as "the Destiny killer," but it ended up being one of the biggest flops in the last decade. Now Bioware is essentially going back to the drawing board for Anthem, "focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience."

Whether or not Overwatch is in any real danger from Valorant is unclear at this time. We'll know for sure when Valorant makes its debut sometime this summer.