Overwatch League Paris homestand canceled due to Coronavirus crisis - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch League Paris homestand canceled due to Coronavirus crisis

Published: 11/Mar/2020 15:48 Updated: 13/Mar/2020 18:18

by Scott Robertson

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After initial reports from the venue claiming the event would be canceled in response to Coronavirus concerns, Paris Eternal made an official statement on March 11 confirming that the April 11-12 homestand will not go on.

The Overwatch League has already lost out on numerous homestands in both China and Korea due to concerns over the outbreak, as teams from those regions haven’t even competed in any matches after five weeks of competition.

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With other gaming and sporting event getting canceled, postponed, or altered in Europe, many fans were worried that Overwatch homestands in that continent would be affected as well. On March 11, the Paris team confirmed the cancellation on Twitter.

In their statement, Paris Eternal announced that a new ministerial order from French Health Minister Olivier Véran was put in place on March 9, banning the gathering of more than 1000 people in France. Thus, the homestand scheduled to take place in the Le Zénith Paris – La Villette will have to be canceled.

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Currently, the Call of Duty League has an event in Paris scheduled for May 16-17. If the global situation with Coronavirus doesn’t improve by then, and the ban on public gatherings in France is still active, that event could also very well be canceled.

Since the ban is specifically regarding gatherings of more than 1000 people, there’s still a potential for matches to occur, just in a more closed space. Both the LEC and FLASHPOINT are taking similar measures by moving to smaller locations and limiting the amount of fan interaction.

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The IEM Katowice CS:GO event competed without a crowd for its playoffs.

For the Overwatch League, this is another huge obstacle to their goal of global expansion by growing local fanbases through homestand events. The Paris homestand was scheduled to take place in week ten, which was supposed to coincide with a homestand that hasn’t even been announced yet.

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The latest cancellation due to Coronavirus concerns adds to an ever-growing list of gaming and esports events that have been affected in some way.

In addition to the Korean and Chinese Overwatch League homestands, the Rocket League Championships, TwitchCon Amsterdam, multiple professional FIFA events, and E3 have all been canceled.

Overwatch league/blizzardBoth the original and “makeup” matches for Seoul Dynasty this season have been canceled.

Events such as the first Apex Legends Global Series major, LPL matches, and the LoL Mid-Season Invitational have been postponed. LCS, LEC, FLASHPOINT, and others have taken various steps to reduce fan interaction, from moving locations to banning high-fives.

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Unfortunately, there will likely be more cancelations before the global health situation improves, so for all those updates, stay tuned to Dexerto.

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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