San Francisco Shock sign star DPS Rascal for Overwatch League Season Two - Dexerto
Overwatch

San Francisco Shock sign star DPS Rascal for Overwatch League Season Two

Published: 26/Sep/2018 20:21 Updated: 5/Mar/2019 16:17

by Joe O'Brien

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The San Francisco Shock have announced the addition of Kim ‘Rascal’ Dong-jun to their Overwatch League roster.

Rascal had previously been playing for NRG Esports, the Shock Academy team competing in Contenders NA, after having left the Overwatch League mid-way through Season One.

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Rascal’s ill-fated first season in the league began on London Spitfire. Though Rascal was touted as one of the most talented DPS players in the league, competing alongside the likes of Park ‘Profit’ Jun-young and Kim ‘Birdring’ Ji-hyeok meant Rascal saw less stage time than a player of his calibre might have deserved.

As a result, in the mid-season signing window Rascal was traded to the Dallas Fuel. Unfortunately, his move to the Fuel came at an inopportune time, as the team was heading towards its lowest point of the season. The move ultimately didn’t work out for either party, and Rascal departed the Fuel and the league.

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Rascal was picked up by NRG Esports for Season Two of Overwatch Contenders NA, in which the team ultimately finished 3rd/4th after a narrow loss to XL2 Academy in the semi-finals. Now, Rascal is set to make his Overwatch League return with a move to the main Shock roster.

The move marks San Francisco’s second roster addition in the post-season, having also traded Dante ‘Danteh’ Cruz to the Houston Outlaws in return for main tank Yoo ‘Smurf’ Myeong-hwan from GG Esports Academy, the Outlaws’ Contenders team.

With San Francisco one of several teams now featuring more than the minimum eight players, the Shock do not need to make further additions before Season Two. If they wish to target free agents, they’ll have to wait until after the exclusive signing window for expansion teams closes on October 7.

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San Francisco Shock’s full roster:

  • Andrej ‘babybay’ Francisty
  • Matthew ‘super’ DeLisi
  • Nikola ‘sleepy’ Andrews
  • Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won
  • Andreas ‘nevix’ Karlsson
  • Park ‘Architect’ Min-ho
  • Grant ‘moth’ Espe
  • Choi ‘ChoiHyoBin’ Hyo-bin
  • Yoo ‘Smurf’ Myeong-hwan
  • Kim ‘Rascal’ Dong-jun
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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