Overwatch Contenders announce new live events for 2019 - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch Contenders announce new live events for 2019

Published: 16/Jan/2019 18:40 Updated: 16/Jan/2019 19:21

by Bill Cooney

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The Overwatch Contenders competition announced that they will be holding three new live competitive events around the world in 2019, as posted on Wednesday, January 16.

The announcement comes after Contenders recently moved away from LANs for regional finals – a move that was widely criticized by both players and fans.

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Now, it looks like the competition is bringing them back with two “Showdown” live events and a tournament called “The Gauntlet” for 2019.

The “Pacific Showdown” will feature top teams from China, Australia, Korea, and the Pacific region facing off in a double-elimination bracket from May 24 to 26 in China.

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Only the number one teams from Australia and the Pacific will be invited to the tournament, with the top two teams from both China and Korea snagging a spot.

The “Atlantic Showdown” is a week later on May 31 through June 2, and will feature the top two teams from Contenders Europe, the three best teams from North America, and the top team from South America in a double-elimination tournament.

There’s no location for the Atlantic Showdown yet, but according to Contenders, it’ll take place in either Europe or the Americas.

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Finally, “The Gauntlet” will take the teams from the Atlantic and Pacific Showdowns, with the two throwing down in a “tournament format [that] will emphasize interregional competition for maximum excitement.”

The Gauntlet will take place on October 10 through 13, and teams will be invited to compete based on their performance in either of the showdown tournaments.

The new tournaments are definitely a good thing for Contenders, whose support (or apparent lack of) from Blizzard has become a meme all it’s own.

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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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