Chengdu Hunters player refused travel to U.S. for Overwatch League - Dexerto
Overwatch

Chengdu Hunters player refused travel to U.S. for Overwatch League

Published: 22/Jan/2019 11:30 Updated: 22/Jan/2019 13:24

by Calum Patterson

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Chinese Overwatch League team Chengdu Hunters have already faced their first big test – getting all their players into the United States to play Season 2, as one player’s visa has been rejected.

The new franchise set out on January 21 to make the trip to Los Angeles, with all but one of the players successfully travelling overseas for the start of Season Two.

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On their Weibo page, Chengdu Hunters posted on January 22 “The members of ChengduHunters who left last night have arrived in Los Angeles safely!”

However, in a comment under the post, the organization revealed that not all members of the team had made the trip on January 21, as Zhang ‘YangXiaoLong’ Zhihao had his visa rejected.

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The Hunters state (translated from Mandarin): “There is news to tell you that because there is a history of refusal, Yang Xiaolong did not go to the United States with the first batch of members because of a visa refusal. We have contacted a lawyer to assist with the visa again, please let us wait for the results together.”

It’s not the first time that visa issues have caused serious logistical problems in the Overwatch League, as fellow Chinese team Shanghai Dragons had to do without star player Geguri for two weeks in Season One due to a similar situation.

The regular season for Season Two begins on February 14, meaning Chengdu Hunters should hopefully have enough time to have the issues resolved before their first league match.

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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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