Overwatch pro Decay accused of holding Fuel "hostage" to force exit - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch pro Decay accused of holding Fuel “hostage” to force exit

Published: 5/Sep/2020 20:23

by Theo Salaun

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Back in June, the Dallas Fuel’s Gui-un ‘Decay’ Jang was accused of ‘benching himself’ before being released by the team in August. Now, after eliminating the Fuel from the playoffs, a former teammate has confirmed those rumors in a jab at the star DPS.

In 2019, Decay was an Overwatch League All-Star for the Los Angeles Gladiators before being acquired by Dallas ahead of the 2020 season and then surprisingly removed from the starting lineup in June.

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This prompted the Atlanta Reign’s head coach, Brad Rajani, to explain that rumors indicated Decay had “benched himself and plays mostly Valorant in his free time.”

While Rajani was accused of baseless “baiting” by the Overwatch community, something was most certainly afoot in Dallas as the team ended up releasing the star DPS in August. Now, although it’s unclear what happened specifically, it appears that there was some truth to those rumors.

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Reddit, u/Selfless_Brad
Brad Rajani stirs rumors about Decay on Reddit and confirms them not to be bait.

After being released by Dallas, Decay was acquired by the Washington Justice. In a fitting anime-like storyline, his new team met his former team in the second round of the OWL playoffs, quickly swept them, and ended their season.

Following the match, the Fuel’s flex support, William ‘Crimzo’ Hernandez, took to Twitter to express his discontent — seemingly confirming some of the rumors from months back.

As Crimzo puts it, a loss is especially painful when it’s against “the person that held your team hostage for months in scrims because he was unhappy.” This ties directly into the former allegations that Decay had benched himself, as that reluctance to play with his team would inherently hurt the value of their scrims.

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In response to Crimzo’s Tweet, there has been little to confirm or deny his accusation, as other pros around the league have simply expressed excitement over controversial comments instead.

The Los Angeles Valiant’s Caleb ‘McGravy’ McGarvey responded “HOLY F**K,” the Atlanta Reign’s Dustin ‘Dogman’ Bowerman, “GODAMN HE SAID IT,” and the Los Angeles Gladiators’ Indy ‘SPACE’ Halpern succinctly replied in a way that much of the community has: “Oh, it’s like that.”

That reluctance to pick a side speaks to the nuance of the situation, as few are comfortable assigning full blame to either Decay or the Fuel. Many fans have criticized the Dallas coaching staff for the unfortunate turn in their season, which also seems reasonable given the release of their head coach, Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins, just a day after Decay.

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Interestingly, Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles tacked on a different reaction to the drama, aimed directly at the contract situations that would permit a disgruntled player to hinder team practice. As a former Overwatch League caster and current esports insider, MonteCristo asserts that “OWL contracts basically allow players to hold entire teams hostage or quit practicing with no consequences.”

Without looking directly into Decay’s contract or knowing the Fuel’s specific locker-room circumstances, it’s obvious that the split was not entirely amicable. This continues a history of highly touted Korean players, like Hyeon ‘EFFECT’ Hwang, Min-seok ‘OGE’ Son, and Dong-jun ‘Rascal’ Kim, experiencing frustration with the organization.

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OGE and Rascal both experienced greater success upon leaving to other teams, and it appears Decay has as well, given the results of their second-round drubbing against his old side. Now, he’ll look to prove that was no fluke as the Justice face the seemingly indomitable San Francisco Shock in the third round. 

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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