Houston Outlaws' ArHan is Now Eligible to Compete in the Overwatch League - Dexerto

Houston Outlaws’ ArHan is Now Eligible to Compete in the Overwatch League

Published: 28/May/2018 15:57 Updated: 11/Mar/2019 13:00

by Joe O'Brien


Houston Outlaws DPS player Jeong ‘ArHan’ Won-hyeop is now eligible to compete in the Overwatch League.

Outlaws general manager Matt ‘Flame’ Rodriguez has confirmed that ArHan now has the appropriate visa in place to allow him to compete for the team.


Best known as a player for Afreeca Freecs Blue in all four seasons of OGN’s APEX, ArHan was signed during the mid-season signing window, which closed before the start of Stage 3, but was unable to join the team due to delays in his visa approval.

Many questioned the addition of ArHan when his signing was announced. One of the most frequently-criticized aspect of the Outlaws team has been their lack of an elite Tracer player, and so the addition another DPS player who doesn’t have a history on the hero – instead making his name with projectile heroes like Genji and Pharah – came as a surprise.


Fortunately for Houston, the Overwatch League meta has shifted such that, for arguably the first time in the game’s history, Tracer is not one of the most important heroes. Conversely, it also means that the meta has moved to an area in which the Outlaws’ primary DPS, Jacob ‘Jake’ Lyon and Jiri ‘Linkzr’ Masalin, should be more comfortable, reducing the need for alternatives.

The Houston Outlaws currently sit at eighth place in the overall standings, two match wins behind the current sixth-placed team, Los Angeles Gladiators. With only six matches left to play in the regular season, Houston will need a near flawless run through the rest of the stage if they are to have any hope of qualifying for the end-of-season playoffs.


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


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. 


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. 

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.


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.”


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.