Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan teases Sinatraa MVP and Shock Championship skins - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan teases Sinatraa MVP and Shock Championship skins

Published: 20/Mar/2020 23:32

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan teased that players could be getting their hands on some news skins during a Twitch stream with OWL 2019 MVP Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won.

While the pro was testing out the new DPS hero, Echo, Kaplan was playing Mercy and pocketing the San Francisco Shock star while talking to him about the game.

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Seemingly out of nowhere, the Game Director jumped into the topic of Sinatraa’s upcoming MVP skin and the Shock’s special skin for winning the 2019 OWL Championship.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The Shock are the defending Overwatch League champions.

“What your viewers really want to know about is your MVP skin, have you seen it yet?” Jeff asked the focused Won.

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“No, I have not,” Sinatraa laughed.

“I have. There’s the Championship skin and the MVP skin,” Kaplan replied.

Sinatraa revealed he had laid eyes on the upcoming Championship skin and had a grin on his face talking about it.

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“That one is amazing,” Jeff beamed. “I think people are going to be stoked.”

“How about the MVP skin?” Sinatraa asked.

“We gotta leave it for a reveal,” Jeff responded. “Everybody will be so mad at me.”

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Blizzard Entertainment
We already know Sinatraa’s MVP skin is for Zarya.

While Sinatraa may not have seen the MVP skin yet, we already know what hero his skin will be for. As Dexerto previously reported, during a stream on September 16, the Shock star revealed it would be for Zarya – the hero he played for most of the league’s second season in the GOATS meta.

Last year, Season one MVP Sung-hyeon ‘JJoNak’ Bang had his special Zenyatta skin releases on June 27, 2019 so chances are that Sinatraa’s will debut around the same time.

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Meanwhile, the Flying Ace Winston skin, which was designed to honor the London Spitfire’s championship win, released August 29, 2019 so if the release schedule remains similar, we may still have a bit to wait before getting our hands on the Shock skin.

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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