When is Overwatch Summer Games 2019? Schedule and information - Dexerto
Overwatch

When is Overwatch Summer Games 2019? Schedule and information

Published: 12/Jul/2019 7:43 Updated: 12/Jul/2019 8:17

by Joe O'Brien

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The next in-game event on the Overwatch calendar is the Summer Games, and it’s arriving sooner than you might expect.

Summer Games was Overwatch’s very first in-game event, originally celebrating the 2016 Summer Olympics. The event will be returning for its fourth iteration in Summer 2019, but this time around there are expected to be some changes to the standard format.

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While Blizzard have yet to announce full details for the event, here’s everything we know about Summer Games 2019 so far.

Blizzard Entertainment

When is Summer Games 2019?

In previous years, like most events Summer Games has followed a consistent schedule, taking place over three weeks in August and usually beginning in the second week of the month.

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For 2019, however, Jeff Kaplan had hinted that there would be changes to the summer content schedule, and in a recent Developer Update he confirmed this would affect the Summer Games event.

Fortunately, it’s good news for fans of the event, as Kaplan states “It’s going to happen much sooner than it usually happens.” With there being less than a month until the event would be expected to kick off anyway, that would imply that Summer Games could arrive before the end of July, perhaps even as soon as next week.

Blizzard EntertainmentLúcioball is the arcade brawl for the Summer Games event.

What will Summer Games involve?

Assuming no major departure from the usual Summer Games format, the event can be expected to bring back Lúcioball in the arcade, likely with a new map for players to enjoy the mode on.

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Blizzard are at least shaking things up a little this year, however, adding a special challenge for each week of the event that will allow players to unlock an epic skin if completed. According to Jeff Kaplan, these will be similar in structure to the Bastet and Baptiste Reunion challenges, which tasked players with winning games and watching partnered streamers.

As always, Summer Games should also introduce a host of new cosmetics, presumably including those that will be awarded for completing the weekly challenges. Players can likely expect 8 to 10 new summer-themed skins to be released.

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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