One year ago today, Overwatch was released by Blizzard Entertainment. The game had an immediate and overwhelming impact on Tumblr, and the #overwatch tag was quickly flooded with animated shorts, comics, fan art, and, of course, toddler approval of Junkrat.
To mark this anniversary of this game-to-end-all-games, we’ve analyzed millions of posts from May 23, 2016—May 18, 2017 to precisely identify the most talked about Overwatch characters and ships. Enjoy.
Overwatch is huge
During this 358 day period, the #overwatch tag alone garnered nearly 150 million engagements. It was the second most trending tag during this time. That’s trendier than every TV show and film, and even bigger, more generic tags like #GIF (No. 5) and #art (No. 7). The next highest trending video game-related tag was #Pokémon, at No. 20.
Overwatch made its debut on the Fandometrics Video Games list on March 14th, 2016 at No. 16, more than two months before the game was even released. On May 9, 2016 Overwatch jumped a solid ten spots to No. 2. The following week, it was No. 1. It reigned supreme until July 11th, 2016, when it was kicked out by Pokémon Go. Currently Overwatch has had a 29-week streak at No. 1, beating the previous record for time at the top of the Video Games list by two months (and counting). Undertale topped off at just 21 weeks.
We did a full breakdown of all 24 character’s total engagements based on class. The highlights? Reaper had the most likes and reblogs, Junkrat had the most searches and Mercy had the most original posts. The details? Below:
With more than 20 characters, Overwatch fandom is rife for shipping. You can find a ship chart for just about any combination you can think of—a possible 276 unique combinations. For the sake of brevity, we highlighted just the top 10:
One year ago today, I dealt with the trauma of the Pulse massacre alone, in a foreign country, feeling for the first time how much people hated me, and reeling because this was not the first tragedy and it won’t be the last.
Since then, my definition of pride has changed to encompass the cruel irony that 49 of us were slaughtered during Pride Month.
So here is what pride means to me now:
I’m so proud of us for turning grief into community, strength, and love, over and over again; I hate that we have to.
I’m so proud of us for finding each other across time and space, over and over again; I hate that we have to.
I’m so proud of us for waking up every morning and making it through another day of slurs and weird looks and jokes at our expense; I hate that we have to endure that.
We do this shit over and over and over again. Every single day is the anniversary of something horrific and another day that we refuse to give up.
We exist in a world that says we should not, we love ourselves in a world that teaches us self-hate from the moment we are born, and that is the fiercest, bravest thing I can imagine.