Blizzard Has Reportedly Added Two More Overwatch League Expansion Teams - Dexerto
Overwatch

Blizzard Has Reportedly Added Two More Overwatch League Expansion Teams

Published: 5/Sep/2018 10:25 Updated: 5/Sep/2018 10:26

by Joe O'Brien

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It has been reported that Blizzard have sold two more spots in the Overwatch League for Season Two.

According to a report by ESPN, Blizzard have sold franchise spots based in Washington, D.C., and Hangzhou, China.

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The Washington spot has reportedly been sold to a new group led by Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles, while the Hangzhou team will be funded by Chinese video sharing website Bilibili.

The report also reveals that Blizzard aims to expand to 20 teams for Season Two, up from the previously-stated goal of 18. Previous reports suggest spots in Season Two are being sold $30-$60 million, depending on several factors including the Overwatch player base and general population in the franchise city.

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So far, only two new teams have been officially announced, one based in Atlanta, Georgia, and one based in Guangzhou, China. In addition, Blizzard has reportedly sold spots based in Toronto, Canada and Paris, France, bringing the current total to 18 teams for Season Two. Two more are expected to be sold before the expansion period closes.

Expansion teams will soon be able to begin building rosters, with an exclusive free agent signing window opening for new teams on September 9. From October 8, Season One teams will also be able to sign free agents, and all teams must have a minimum of eight players signed by December 8.

Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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