[This post originally ran on 13/01/18. Update 08/04/18: After another visit to the Blizzard arena, added new items in the 19, 13, 10, 7, and 3 slots.]
Blizzard’s new arena in Los Angeles, California, where Overwatch League season one kicked off yesterday evening, is the real deal. And by that, I mean it has a gift shop, the surest marker of any worth-its-salt sporting enterprise. I have investigated the gift shop; here is a definitive ranking of the items for sale in it, from worst to best.
24. Grey Overwatch League inaugural season shirt
Yep, that sure is a shirt.
23. Team-name-emblazoned lanyards
These sure will look good in whatever drawer I toss them into when I realise, five minutes after buying them, that I’ll never use them.
22. “Glass water bottle” in a box
This might’ve been ranked higher had I been able to see the water bottle, but as is, I don’t really know what I’m working with here.
21. Plastic Overwatch cups
Have you ever walked through a room, been told that something was in that room, and realised you have zero recollection of it because that object was so nondescript as to essentially render itself invisible?
20. Overwatch Funko Pop figurines
Absolutely not, even though there’s basically no other Pharah merchandise in the store.
The D.Va one is kinda cute, though.
19. Overwatch calendar
Figure out what month it is! With the help of Tracer, a being trapped outside of time!
18. Team stickers?
I’m not 100 per cent sure what these are. They look fine.
17. Team key chains
Elaborate keychains are bad. Hardly anyone aside from you ever sees them, and they make your keys heavier and your pockets bulgier. The Overwatch League ones look kinda cool, but I’ll keep my keys naked and free, thanks.
16. Team pins
Everybody likes pins, and some of the team logos are alright. I’m not even a big fan of Florida Mayhem, but their logo is a visual design masterpiece. I’d wear it on that merit alone and say to passersby, “YES, BUT DO YOU REALISE THAT THE BOMB FUSE IS ALSO A PALM TREE.”
15. Team Hats
These are all fine.
14. Team Jerseys
These are mostly alright, though I think some of the colour schemes work better in this format than others. Also, the Jack In The Box logo on the Dallas Fuel jersey looks like a giant, angry pimple on your chest, and I just remembered that I’m not Kevin Smith, so I would probably never wear these outside of events.
13. Golden Soldier 76
He’s small! He’s gold! He still doesn’t do a tonne for me as a character!
12. Ganymede plush
I want to hug it, but it also feels kinda weird that I’ll have to bust open Bastion’s head to free it from its cardboard prison.
11. Overwatch League jacket
The logo takes up too much real estate, and the colours means you’ll look like Naruto’s evil twin if you wear it, but otherwise it seems like an alright jacket.
10. Limited edition “Join Overwatch” posters
These are neat-looking, but that alone is not what got them into the rarefied air of this extremely silly and largely pointless list’s top ten. No, that would be the backstory preceding them. One of the employees working the store told me that they just found these posters (from an event that took place a year ago) lying around and decided to sell them. “The question you should be asking is not ‘why?’” say the cruel and inexorable forces of capitalism. “But rather, why not?”
9. Black Overwatch League hoody
Less gaudy than the jacket. Better logo, too. I might actually wear this.
8. Reaper statue
A very nice statue of Reaper that probably costs multiple hundreds of dollars. I dig it, but not at that price.
7. Widowmaker statue
Simple and sleek. I like it.
6. Stealth Sombra
I don’t even play much Sombra, but this mini-figure is good as hell.
5. Tracer statue
It’s Tracer! She appears to be going fast, but, as a statue, is also forever constrained by the cruel shackles of time. A good metaphor for Tracer’s character, actually.
4. D.Va statue
This thing is massive—around twice the size of the other statues—and nicely detailed. I would like to own this, but I’m not a wealthy man, and my apartment probably isn’t worthy anyway.
3. Pachimari plush
This shouldn’t be so high-ranked, but I can’t say no to that face.
2. Bastion statue
They made Bastion so cute that I don’t hate him anymore! An accomplishment.
1. Genji statue with anatomically correct butt
How can they sell this in a store? It belongs in an art gallery.