Reinforce Couldn’t Carry Team Pacific to a Second Overwatch League Talent Takedown Win - Dexerto
Overwatch

Reinforce Couldn’t Carry Team Pacific to a Second Overwatch League Talent Takedown Win

Published: 30/Aug/2018 15:38 Updated: 30/Aug/2018 15:39

by Joe O'Brien

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Johnathon ‘Reinforce’ Larsson was a dominant force in the Talent Takedown rematch, but this time it wasn’t enough to carry his team to victory.

Two teams of Overwatch League commentators, analysts, and hosts clashed for the first time at the All-Stars weekend on August 25-26. One represented the Atlantic Division, the other the Pacific Division.

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Reinforce competed for the Pacific Division, and as a former professional player – and current player for the Swedish Overwatch World Cup team – played a major role in their 2-0 victory.

In the week following the official clash at All-Stars, the Overwatch League talent organized a rematch, playing online with each player streaming their perspective. Unfortunately, the second time around, Reinforce wasn’t able to carry the Pacific Division to a series victory. 

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Though a main tank as a professional player, Reinforce played a DPS role for both iterations of the Talent Takedown, a position from which he could have more impact as the most skilled player in the match.

The series started well for Team Pacific, with a herculean effort from Reinforce helping to clinch a narrow win on Hollywood. By the end of the game he had amassed a monstrous 58 eliminations and 71% kill participation, including a devastating Bastion ultimate to wipe out the Atlantic team.

Unfortunately, the subsequent two maps were less successful for Team Pacific. The Atlantic team struck back with a King’s Row victory, in spite of a massive play by Soe, and stole the series with a win on Ilios.

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With the series count tied up at 1-1 the stage is set for a tie-breaker match. Though a third showdown hasn’t been confirmed, with how popular the Talent Takedown has been – and how long there is before the Overwatch League returns – another match to determine an ultimate winner seems likely at some point.

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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