The New Competitive Season in Overwatch Unlocks Brigitte in Ranked Play - Dexerto
Overwatch

The New Competitive Season in Overwatch Unlocks Brigitte in Ranked Play

Published: 1/May/2018 17:40 Updated: 14/Mar/2019 13:06

by Joe O'Brien

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The Overwatch competitive playlist has entered its tenth season, and the latest hero to be added to the game is now available to competitors.

With season nine having ended on April 27th, season ten began just three days later on April 20th. With the new season, Overwatch hero 27 Brigitte becomes available to play in the ranked ladder.

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Brigitte was added to Overwatch on March 20th and was immediately available in quick play, but was absent for the entirety of competitive season nine in order to allow players to get acquainted with her before encountering her in more significant matches.

The delay to Brigitte’s entrance to competitive play came on account of player complaints that new heroes had previously been introduced to the mode too quickly, but it seems that many see the full season’s delay as overkill.

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan responded to such complaints on the official Blizzard forums when the delay was originally announced.

“We’re following this feedback closely. We made this change with the best intentions as we frequently heard complaints from players that we were introducing new heroes to Competitive Play too quickly.

Let’s see how this plays out for Brigitte and then we’ll re-evaluate for next time.

Thanks for being patient with us.”

At the professional level, Brigitte is still absent from the Overwatch League, which is played on a tournament realm that is only updated between stages. It is presumed that Brigitte will become available in Stage 4, which will begin on May 16th.

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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