xQc Throws Down the Gauntlet to Team USA Ahead of Overwatch World Cup - Dexerto
Overwatch

xQc Throws Down the Gauntlet to Team USA Ahead of Overwatch World Cup

Published: 1/Aug/2018 21:21 Updated: 1/Aug/2018 21:44

by Joe O'Brien

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Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has issued a challenge to the Team USA Overwatch World Cup team.

As the main tank for Team Canada, xQc wants to face the USA in a show-match before the upcoming patch change for competition introduces a brand-new hero and a new meta.

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xQc even suggested the teams put some money on the line for a regional showdown before they reach the real tournament.

Canada versus the USA already has a national rivalry built-in whenever they face off, but this year there are extra factors to add to the anticipation of this match-up. xQc himself, for example, will face off against main tank rival Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot, of the Houston Outlaws.

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Meanwhile, Los Angeles Gladiators DPS duo Lane ‘Surefour’ Roberts and ‘Hydration’ find themselves on opposite sides of the national divide, as do Houston Outlaws Support duo Christopher ‘Bani’ Benell and Shane ‘Rawkus’ Flaherty.

At the coaching level, Team USA will be led by Dallas Fuel head coach Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins, while newly-announced Dallas Fuel assistant coach ‘Jayne’ is coaching Team Canada.

Even if a show-match doesn’t take place, USA and Canada are guaranteed to face each other in the USA-based group stage.

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xQc has been largely absent from competitive play since his departure from the Dallas Fuel, focusing instead on his popular stream. Aside from a brief outing as a stand-in during Overwatch Contenders Trials, the Overwatch World Cup will be the first time back to competing in a team environment.

Last year, Team Canada reached the finals of the World Cup, where they were defeated by South Korea, though xQc won the fan-voted MVP award.

It’s not yet clear whether xQc will return to the Overwatch League for Season Two. Despite being at the center of a lot of controversy during Season One, xQc remains one of the most talented main tanks in Western Overwatch, and one of the game’s most popular players.

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With up to six expansion teams building new rosters, it seems likely that there will be a space for xQc if he wishes, and he’s apparently already had interest expressed by existing teams.

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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