PREVIEW: What to Expect from Overwatch League’s Stage Two

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Lots has happened in Overwatch since the stage one playoffs. There has been a new patch, including a new hero, and it brings the promise of a shifting meta game that looks to be much more map dependent than the previously overwhelmingly GOATS centric meta we had in stage one. While there are a ton of tweaks coming to the game with the new patch I wanted to touch on just a few that seem to be expected to be the most impactful.

7. Knock back always launches a target a set distance

What this means: It used to be that if a Winston was leaping toward Lucio while the latter did his knock back attack, Winson’s forward momentum would counteract a lot of the knock back. With this patch, that is no longer the case. Now whatever distance you would fly, you fly, regardless of forward momentum. The other biggest loser in this nerf, aside from Winston, is D.va, as her jet boosters used to allow her to power through knock backs.

The biggest winners with this patch may end up being Lucio and Brigitte as they are already widely used and have knock back attacks on very quick cool downs. On an important note, this update has no effect on any character abilities that negate knock back. Orisa’s Fortify, Reaper’s Wraith form and so on.

6. Amor is less effective versus beam weapons

What this means: Characters like Winston and Zarya can more effectively damage opponents with armor. While there is a bit of math involved and I will be honest with you, I can’t do it out here, my understanding is that the biggest winner in this is Winston. Straight across the board he got better against armored foes. Due to the changing strengths of their weapons, Zarya and Symmetra’s improvement with this patch range from none to marginal depending upon the state of their attack.

In a closely related piece of news, armor is also less effective versus DOT effects, such as venom mine, and Mei’s ultimate.

5. Lucio’s speed boost is being decreased

What this means: Characters being speed boosted by Lucio will no longer see an increase of 50 percent. Instead he is nerfed by 20 percent meaning those in his vicinity receive 30 percent instead. Now, this is one of the most talked about changes in the patch, as the decrease is expected to weaken the GOATS composition by hindering its ability to engage at the close ranges it needs to before being worn down.

4. Brigitte’ armor will now dissipate thirty seconds after her ultimate ends.

What this means: Brigitte used to make characters like Zenyatta super hard to deal with when she activated her ultimate. She gave them armor, and then they would have it until it was actively removed by damage. Now, the armor will dissipate much like the armor granted by her Armor pack ability. This will make the sustainability of teams featuring Brigitte greatly lessened.

3. Junkrat gets a damage buff

What this means: Beyond the obvious increase in damage, this could be another wreaking in the GOATS composition as top of the meta. With more splash damage being thrown around by Junkrat, it’s one more storm close range compositions like GOATS have to weather to reach fighting range.

2. Doomfist’s abilities get cooldown decreases

What this means: With both Rocket Punch and Seismic Slam getting one second taken off their cooldowns, Doomfist could find a bit more presence in the current meta. Since the successful use of his abilities not only comprise the bulk of damage he does, but also provides him with temporary shields this buff looks to improve upon both his damage dealing, as well as his sustainability.

1. Baptiste joins the character pool.

What this means: With a new character joining the game, we always wonder how much they will see play. With the stationary nature of some of his abilities lots of speculation has him strengthening the bunker compositions that sometimes see play on defense. Teams centered around him, Orisa, Bastion, Junkrat, could put out a lot of damage with a lot of safety, between Orisa’s barriers and a timely Immortality field now and then.


Maps

Now that we have the patch notes out of the way let’s talk about the new map pool. Let’s take a look and see where our favorite teams will be playing.

Paris will be making its first appearance in the Overwatch League this stage which is very exciting right off the bat. Follow that up with maps like Junkertown, and Blizzard World, which both are known for the way gameplay changes from point to point, and we could be in for some very exciting changes in-game play as we enter stage two.


Now, we are at the point in the article where I would usually give you my picks for the most interesting matches to watch, but, I’m gonna level with you, I have no idea. Between the amazing level of parity we witnessed in stage one and with all the meta, and map pool changes landing this week I couldn’t even hazard a guess. So, I will just recommend you follow the plan I’m going to. Which is: WATCH AS MUCH OVERWATCH LEAGUE AS YOU CAN!

‘Til them, keep playing the point!