Overwatch players outraged at Open Division's exclusive prizes - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch players outraged at Open Division’s exclusive prizes

Published: 14/Sep/2019 0:57 Updated: 14/Sep/2019 10:38

by Bill Cooney

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Blizzard is offering an exclusive new prizes for participants in the 2019 Overwatch Open Division Practice Season, but some people aren’t thrilled with the reward.

Overwatch’s Open Division is a step below the Contenders League and is open to all players, regardless of rank or region, as long as they can find a team.

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In previous years the competition fed into Contenders, this year that won’t be the case – but players who remain on their team’s active roster all the way through the season will receive a “(very cute) in-game Path to Pro player icon and spray.”

Blizzard EntertainmentThe spray and player icon are very cute, no doubt about that.

How do we get the new spray and player icon?

All you have to do to qualify for the new cosmetics is find a team for the Practice season, and stay on the active roster throughout the competition.

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Even though the sprays are undeniably cute, the new season doesn’t seem to have gone over too well with the Overwatch community, with a lot of people lamenting the fact that there will be no prize pool at all for players.

According to T3tracker on Twitter, it also goes through BlizzCon, starting November 1, which means players will be playing during the biggest Overwatch news weekend of the year.

People have complained that Blizzard doesn’t seem to give the same attention to the other levels of Overwatch esports that it does to the Overwatch League.

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A lot of fans (and players) have begun to wonder how Blizzard hopes to grow Overwatch esports when they offer just a spray and icon for competing.

Open Division may not be Overwatch League, but most people seem to agree players deserve a little more than new cosmetics for their efforts.

As Overwatch player Japive showed on Twitter, a cute spray and player icon doesn’t exactly look the best as a prize for playing on the outside.

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Whether or not Blizzard will change how players are compensated remains to be seen, but based on how things have gone for so-called Tier 3 Overwatch in the past, it seems a bit unlikely.

The Overwatch World Cup is also happening during BlizzCon weekend, which means Open Division players who are also on their national teams will have to miss one or the other.

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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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