Overwatch streamer Dafran suspended for "disruptive behavior" after trying to practice Torbjorn - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch streamer Dafran suspended for “disruptive behavior” after trying to practice Torbjorn

Published: 25/Oct/2018 17:38 Updated: 25/Oct/2018 18:06

by Joe O'Brien

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Overwatch streamer Daniel ‘Dafran’ Francesca has been suspended again, but this time he claims innocence.

Dafran has a reputation for sometimes behaving negatively in-game, and one that he makes no efforts to sugar-coat.

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Though his most infamous suspension was that which originally ended his professional career, Dafran has been suspended on multiple occasions for offences such as throwing in ranked games and toxic in-game chat.

Dafran’s latest suspension comes as a result of “disruptive behavior”, a consequence of the automated system responded to an influx of reports against Dafran’s account.

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According to Dafran, however, in this case he was actually legitimately trying to win and playing seriously in all of his games – he was just doing so while trying to practice the new version of Torbjörn.

For most of Overwatch’s history, Torbjörn has often been considered something of a “troll” pick, a hero so niche and off-meta that in a lot of cases simply picking him is an indication that the player isn’t taking the game seriously.

Following the rework, however, Torbjörn is now far more versatile and powerful, making it worthwhile for players to actually practice and use him. Unfortunately for Dafran, doing so seems likely to have been the reason for his suspension.

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Fellow Overwatch streamer Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned gave his perspective on the issue, stating that it’s something that players practicing unusual heroes on “one-trick” accounts have to deal with, but that Dafran is likely particularly susceptible because “people see Dafran on torb and they think he’s throwing and insta report because of his history.”

Though no announcement has yet been made, rumors in the off-season have suggested that Dafran could be set to make his return to professional play by joining the Atlanta Reign.

Dafran currently maintains that the reports are inaccurate, but with Atlanta having recently announced their team name and branding it seems likely that the team will soon confirm who will be on their starting roster for Season Two.

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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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