Poko Reflects on Philadelphia Fusion’s Run to the Overwatch League Finals - Dexerto
Overwatch

Poko Reflects on Philadelphia Fusion’s Run to the Overwatch League Finals

Published: 24/Jul/2018 4:06 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:08

by Joe O'Brien

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Philadelphia Fusion’s Gael ‘Poko’ Gouzerch took to Twitter to reflect on his team’s success after reaching the Overwatch League grand finals.

The Fusion had a variable season with a number of challenges to overcome, but have managed to bring everything together for a fantastic run at the critical moment.

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As Poko notes, the Fusion was one of the most disparate teams at the start of the league. Unlike many, the squad wasn’t built around an existing roster, and the Fusion weren’t able to get visas sorted in time to even participate in the pre-season exhibition matches.

As a result, Philadelphia had to develop synergy over the course of the season. Although the roster clearly had a lot of talent, they weren’t always able to bring it to bear, resulting in a rather hot-or-cold team. Meanwhile, main tank Kim ‘SADO’ Su-min received an extensive suspension for boosting prior to the start of the season and wasn’t able to play until Stage 4.

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In Stage 4, Philadelphia Fusion had to fight to even secure a spot in the playoffs, barely holding onto the sixth and final spot to reach the quarter-finals. There they faced the Boston Uprising, who had secured the third seed by virtue of a strong overall season, but had seen a decline in form in Stage 4.

Philadelphia’s real upset, however, came in the semi-finals, where they were able to defeat New York Excelsior. The Excelsior had been the dominant force for almost the entire season and were heavily favored to take the trophy, or at least reach the grand finals. The Fusion came into the match hot, and were able to take them down in two series to take the finals spot for themselves.

Poko took to Twitter to reflect on the result, and thank fans of the team for their support throughout a roller-coaster season.

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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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