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Overwatch • Jun 27, 2019

Fissure reveals Overwatch League role lock plans after sudden retirement

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Fissure reveals Overwatch League role lock plans after sudden retirement
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch League star Baek ‘Fissure’ Chan-hyung has parted ways with Seoul Dynasty and retired from professional play.

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Fissure was one of the biggest stars of Overwatch League Season One. Having started the season as part of London Spitfire, he saw little play time initially due to the team opting to field Hong ‘Gesture’ Jae-hee as the starting main tank instead.

After Stage 1, however, he was transferred to the Los Angeles Gladiators, and was credited as a major factor in turning them from a middle-of-the-pack team at best into one of the strongest teams in the league by the end of the season. His play for the Gladiators saw him finish as the runner-up in the MVP voting for Season One, behind New York Excelsior’s Zenyatta prodigy Bang ‘JJoNak’ Sung-hyeon.

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Fissure’s time in the league wasn’t without controversy, however. Fissure came under fire from many fans after he was absent from LA Gladiators’ playoff games, following reports of internal disputes among the team.

For Season Two, Fissure transferred to Seoul Dynasty, but in the middle of Stage 3 the team has now announced that he has retired from competition, with the organization terminating his contract by mutual agreement.

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Now that he’s no longer competing in the Overwatch League, it seems Fissure feels no obligation to keep its secrets. While streaming in the wake of the announcement, he confirmed that the league is planning to implement a 2-2-2 role lock for Stage 4 of Season Two and beyond.

A 2-2-2 role lock will require each team to have two heroes of each role – tank, support, and damage – at all times, immediately bringing to an end the reign of the infamous triple-tank, triple-support GOATS composition. Such a role lock should also make it easier for Blizzard to balance heroes, without having to account for quite so many possible combinations.

Blizzard Entertainment
The implementation of a role lock would mean the end for the infamous GOATS composition.

There have been reports that the OWL will implement a role lock for Stage 4, and Fissure’s confirmation adds further weight to them, although similar plans were also reported ahead of Stage 3 before ultimately being shut down by the league, so there’s no guarantee the change will go through until it’s officially confirmed.

Role lock in the Overwatch League is expected to act as a preview for the implementation of a role lock system into the broader game.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has said that the developers liked the idea of a “role queue” that would ensure teams always had somewhat viable compositions, allow players to guarantee the role they want to play and allow for different skill ranks between roles.

In February 2019 he stated such a system would take “months and months” of rewriting in order to implement, but hinted that work might already have begun. With a role lock in the Overwatch Leageu for Stage 4 looking increasingly likely, it’s possible an announcement of a drastic shift for competitive Overwatch is coming soon.