Overwatch

Overwatch may have already found its “new GOATS”

Published: 6/Aug/2019 14:29 Updated: 6/Aug/2019 14:53

by Joe O'Brien

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Overwatch is set for a radical gameplay change with the introduction of role lock, but it seems that players may already have discovered a replacement for the infamous GOATS composition which many hoped to see the end of.

Role queue may not have arrived on the live servers yet, but a role lock rule has been implemented for Stage 4 of the Overwatch League, giving viewers a preview into what the game might look like once players are locked into a 2-2-2 split of tanks, healers, and DPS.

While the change might put paid to the traditional triple-tank, triple-support GOATS composition, a new 2-2-2 line-up has quickly emerged that operates on many of the same fundamental principles, which some players are already dubbing ‘new GOATS’.

The composition uses Reaper and Mei in the DPS slots alongside Orisa as the main tank, while D.Va, Lúcio, and Moira round out the flex tank and support positions respectively. It may look quite different to GOATS on paper, but in-game they operate in a very similar fashion.

The “new GOATS” line-up is designed, like its predecessor, to rely on a high-sustain “deathball” approach, claiming space by brute force and then simply out-lasting the opponents with healing and survivability.

Blizzard EntertainmentMainstays of the GOATS composition might have changed, but the fundamentals remain the same.

The strategy was used successfully by multiple teams in week two of Stage 4, and former Florida Mayhem coach Vytis ‘Mineral’ Lasaitis has now produced a video breaking down the similarities between “new GOATS” and its 3-3 predecessor.

“This composition utilizes the exact concept that original iteration of GOATS accomplished so well. You close the distance, press ‘W’ into your opponents, and they either die or have to kite and give up map control.”

One of the chief criticisms of the GOATS composition was how long it remained dominant for and the fact that its superiority left little room for variation. As it’s still very early days in the 2-2-2 role lock era, whether “new GOATS” has the same staying power very much remains to be seen.

It’s also possible that the new composition remains largely isolated to the Overwatch League, as the demands of the professional setting don’t always apply to the majority of online matchmaking, so players dreading a return of GOATS in their own games might not have to worry just yet.

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.