SP9RK1E addresses potential Genji nerfs ahead of future Overwatch patch - Dexerto
Overwatch

SP9RK1E addresses potential Genji nerfs ahead of future Overwatch patch

Published: 6/Jul/2020 23:58 Updated: 7/Jul/2020 0:09

by Michael Gwilliam

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The Paris Eternal stunned the Overwatch League by dethroning the San Francisco Shock and defeating the Philadelphia Fusion to win the Summer Showdown, largely in part to Yeong-han ‘SP9RK1E’ Kim’s Genji. But will his success on the hero result in future nerfs?

The Eternal rookie had a dominant performance with the cyborg ninja during July 5’s semi-finals and finals, taking full advantage of recent Genji buffs and a pre-nerfed Brigitte.

With the help of Brigitte’s Repair Pack, the self-proclaimed Genji God was able to play aggressively and build up his Dragon Blades with ease. Once online, the star would follow up with Orisa Halts and Super Chargers to inflict maximum damage on his adversaries.

After the match, the 18-year-old prodigy spoke to Dexerto on the possibility of Genji getting nerfed and how the now-live Brigitte changes will impact his team.

SP9RK1E's Genji stats
Overwatch League
SP9RK1E dominated on Genji in the Summer Showdown.

Will the Brigitte nerfs impact Genji?

“One of the good sides of Brigitte is that her ‘E,’ the armor, allows the other heroes she gives the armor to, to sustain and do aggressive plays,” he explained.

Now, with the extra armor off the table, he doesn’t think Brigitte will be used as much.

This could be both good and detrimental to Genji. Brigitte has some of the best tools to shut the high-skill hero down with Shield Bash and Whipshot while still enabling ally Genjis to play aggro and build up Blades. To say they have a love-hate relationship would be an understatement.

Paris coach Hee-won ‘RUSH’ Yun further added that Brigitte is the secret to Genji’s success.

“Everyone says Genji is the meta, but what people don’t know is what makes Genji meta is Brig, because Brig is so important to making that aggressive playstyle [work].”

That said, RUSH did note that he hasn’t focused that much on the Brigitte nerfs. He said his attention was primarily on the Summer Showdown, which was run on the previous patch.

Brigitte shieldbashes Junkrat
Blizzard Entertainment
Could the Brigitte changes hurt Genji more than help him?

SP9RK1E on possible Genji nerfs

SP9RK1E also addressed concerns that his play in the Summer Showdown will be responsible for Blizzard potentially nerfing his hero.

“Even though he’s a God at Genji, he sometimes fails at it. He’s a human too, he makes mistakes,” Assistant General Manager Kyoung Ey ‘AVALLA’ Kim translated for SP9RK1E.

According to SP9RK1E, Blizzard should patch the hero “very fairly” and not on his performance.

Notably, some Overwatch League fans credit 2018 MVP Sung-hyeon ‘JJoNak’ Bang as being a key reason why the damage support Zenyatta had his alternate fire nerfed.

Only time will tell how Blizzard decides to balance going forward and if Genji’s success will be hindered immensely by the Repair Pack changes.

We may need to wait to see if that’s the case. As such, Genji and SP9RK1E could be safe from Blizzard’s balance for now.

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.