Fanart and competitive strategies seem to be at opposite sides of the Overwatch fan spectrum, but one artist brings them together to create accessible, interesting content that sums up competitive concepts. Meet Jebby, an art student at Calarts. Jebby holds the feat of being not just an artist, but a die hard Overwatch player.
“I play a lot of Overwatch. Since people ask this a lot, I’m masters rank currently and I fill/flex. I hope to get to grandmaster this year!” Jebby says. “Overwatch is my first FPS and PC game! I first heard of it through my online friends, who are all artists that don’t really play shooter games, so I got really curious! It really drew me in at first because of how stunning it looked. All of the maps and characters are so colorful and well-designed.”
Jebby easily turns the Overwatch characters, with their defined visual styles, into cute cartoons.
“It’s so different from other fps games, which seem more like war simulators to me. I think unlike other fps games, the characters have great personalities that many people can relate with.” Jebby says. “I’m so thankful that the characters come from many different places and cultures and that the poster girl, Tracer, is gay! It makes me so happy to see parts of myself and my friends in the characters.”
Being new to the genre wasn’t Jebby’s only challenge. “I’m a new player and have no experience with a mouse, so I started off with terrible aim (my aim is still bad lol) but Overwatch isn’t just about aim. Game sense is super important and learning how to play as a team makes all the difference in the world!”
This is where Jebby’s work shines. They make up for mechanical skills with understanding how the game works, and then they communicate that to players.
The metas and compositions of Overwatch are what keep Jebby fascinated in the game. “[Game sense] really appeals to me because I love strategy and pulling off combos. The special abilities of each character are cool too because there's a playing style for any type of player. I also love that this game has a low skill floor and a high skill cap! I started off pretty bad and was silver. Learning how to get good and being awarded for it is just really addictive.”
Jebby’s still learning, but they’re overjoyed by the community’s response to their work. “I’m really, really happy and also embarrassed because I made some mistakes in my competitive comics. For example, the ultimate tracking comic, I drew Zarya telling Genji that she would bait Zenyatta’s transcendence with her graviton surge when it should have been the other way around. Zarya’s ult is way more impactful and takes a longer time to build!”
While the works aren’t perfect, they serve an important role in helping new players understand the difficult parts of the game that aren’t explained in a tutorial. “I think these details/nitpicking aren’t too important because I made these comics for my friends (and beginners) in the first place. Most of my friends who play are gold or below, so I wanted to show them some ways to up their game. So it feels really surprising to me that they are so well received. I’m very grateful!”