Fusion University Wins Overwatch Contenders NA Season One - Final Placements - Dexerto
Overwatch

Fusion University Wins Overwatch Contenders NA Season One – Final Placements

Published: 14/May/2018 15:31 Updated: 8/Oct/2020 17:21

by Joe O'Brien

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Season One of Overwatch Contenders NA has concluded, with Fusion University taking the title.

Overwatch Contenders is the second tier of official Overwatch competition beneath the Overwatch League. The system got a revamp after OWL’s launch, bringing in new teams and expanding Contenders into seven regions.

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Contenders NA is one of the most scrutinized divisions of the tournament, as the home of many of the academy squads of Overwatch League teams and where many potential future Overwatch League prospects may be found.

Unlike the Overwatch League, Contenders isn’t franchised. There’s a risk of relegation – only the top eight are safe each season, while the bottom four will have to fight their way back in.

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While Overwatch League teams with Academy squads were granted a spot in the first season, those teams will need to earn their place going forward. In Contenders NA that’s no small task – there are seven OWL Academy teams and only the top eight in the tournament avoid fighting for relegation.

This time around, however, all of the academy sides managed to finish within the top eight, guaranteeing that none will be relegated this season. The bottom four teams will be dropped down to Contenders Trials, where they will battle with the top four teams from the Open Division to reclaim a spot in Season Two of Contenders.

The playoffs saw Philadelphia Fusion academy team Fusion University cruise to the trophy, defeating Boston Uprising academy side, Toronto Esports, in the finals.

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The full final placements for Season One of Overwatch Contenders NA. Teams were awarded prize money based on their final playoff placement and their results in the regular season:

  • 1st – Fusion University – $39,684
  • 2nd – Toronto Esports – $23,419
  • 3rd/4th – OpTic Academy – $17,544.50
  • 3rd/4th – EnVision Esports – $17,516
  • 5th/8th – Gladiators Legion – $14,548
  • 5th/8th – XL2 Academy – $13,905.50
  • 5th/8th – NRG Esports – $13,648.50
  • 5th/8th – Mayhem Academy – $12,749
  • 9th-10th – Simplicity – $8,913
  • 9th-10th – Grizzlys Esports – $8,270.50
  • 11th-12th – Last Night’s Leftovers – $7,628
  • 11th-12th – Bye Week – $7,114
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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