The Fourth Overwatch League Season One Playoff Team Has Been Confirmed - Dexerto
Overwatch

The Fourth Overwatch League Season One Playoff Team Has Been Confirmed

Published: 14/Jun/2018 6:07 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:05

by Joe O'Brien

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The Los Angeles Gladiators have officially booked a spot in the Overwatch League playoffs.

With a 4-0 sweep of the Shanghai Dragons in their penultimate game of the regular season, the Gladiators have guaranteed a top-six finish, and progression to the quarter-finals of the $1.7 million season playoffs.

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The Gladiator’s exact final placement is still yet to be decided, but at a 24-15 record with one match still to play, they can no longer be knocked out of the top-six. Neither can they steal the top spot in the Pacific Division, with the LA Valiant having already secured it and the semi-final place it offers.

The Gladiators have gradually improved their standing throughout the course of the season. After finishing eighth in Stage 1, the addition of main tank Baek ‘Fissure’ Chan-hyung has helped to transform them into a top-tier contender.

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A fifth-place Stage 2 was followed by a fourth-place Stage 3, their first appearance in a stage playoff, and the team has locked in a minimum second-place finish in Stage 4 at an 8-1 record.

As well as securing a spot in the overall playoffs, the Gladiators will also compete in the lesser Stage 4 playoffs. They still have the chance to clinch the top seed there, which would grant them a choice of opponent in the semi-finals, but to do so they rely on the LA Valiant, currently undefeated in the stage, losing to the Dallas Fuel in their final match.

Two spots in the season playoffs remain up for grabs. The London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion currently hold them, with the former very likely to maintain their position given that doing so will only require them to beat the Florida Mayhem.

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It is the final spot that remains in greatest contention. Both the Seoul Dynasty and Houston Outlaws could yet steal it from Philadelphia, and the Fusion will need to beat at least one of the two directly in the final week to lock in their place.

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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