Houston Outlaws Announce Three Departures from Overwatch League Roster - Dexerto
Overwatch

Houston Outlaws Announce Three Departures from Overwatch League Roster

Published: 4/Sep/2018 16:11

by Joe O'Brien

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The Houston Outlaws have announced three changes to their Overwatch League roster.

The Outlaws have announced that Russell ‘FCTFCTN’ Campbell, Matt ‘Clockwork’ Dias, and Lucas ‘Mendokusaii’ Håkansson will not return as Outlaws players for the start of Season Two.

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Of the three, only main tank FCTFCTN is going into free agency, however. Both Mendokusaii and Clockwork will remain with the Outlaws, the former as a content creator and the latter as a member of staff.

All three saw limited play in Season One under the Outlaws. The starting DPS spots were largely locked up by Jacob ‘Jake’ Lyon and Jiri ‘Linkzr’ Masalin, while FCTFCTN – who joined the team in the mid-season signing window – spent most of his time on the bench behind Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot, who established himself as one of the strongest main tanks in the league.

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Clockwork made a statement regarding his move to a staff position:

“Hey, I’d like to clarify my current situation and future for anyone interested. Bear with me, it’s the evening and I just woke up like 2 hours ago.

My future playing overwatch in any competitive capacity is uncertain. For a few years now, I’ve tried my best to immerse myself in the game and perform my best. Before OWL, I was ~moderately~ successful, and after a series of unfortunate events with prior teams, I found myself qualifying for Contenders under FNRGFE. Our rise to success helped rekindle the competitive flame that had been slowly dying out over the months and years. FNRGFE’s stint culminated in Contenders Playoffs and a 3rd/4th placing, which was surprising and wildly successful for an unsponsored mishmash of players. Luckily, due to my skill at making and maintaining friends and my reputation, results, and demonstrable skill as a great aimer, I found myself on the Houston Outlaws. I did my best to bring them success as a player, but fell short, due to extenuating circumstances and not possessing the necessary skills to succeed in Overwatch’s current “metascape.”

In lieu of this realization, I spent a large portion of season 1 reviewing VODs and watching scrims to help the team succeed in whatever way that I could. I know that I’m a highly talented FPS player, and despite my age, I’m confident I have the abilities to compete in existing titles and any new ones on the horizon. However, I also have a penchant for organization and behind-the-scenes work. For the time being, I believe it will be better to translate those skills into something tangible and use my experience to help my teammates reach their potential. As a recently-retired OWL player, I have both the context and individual skill to help my teammates in ways many other coaches and staff cannot. For those of you who have always supported me, you have my appreciation. If you liked watching me compete and you want to see more, this may not be the end of my competitive gaming career.

Also, I’ll likely try to stream more often. I’ve made this promise many times before, but now that I’m not actively competing, I feel compelled to prove that I can still play FPS games.”

Outlaws general manager Matt ‘Flame’ Rodriguez confirmed that no more players would be leaving the team’s existing roster, meaning that the team has three spots to fill ahead of Season Two should it choose to.

https://twitter.com/flameIRL/status/1036722257412874240

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The Outlaws will have until September 9 to finalize any transfers with Overwatch League teams or sign players from their Contenders roster, GGEA Academy, to the OWL squad. After that, they will have to wait until after the exclusive signing window for expansion teams closes before going after any free agents.

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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