I’ve been invested in the Overwatch League for a few years now. I’ve closely followed as many games as I can. Even during the Goats meta – probably the most boring meta to watch, I was still keeping my eye on who was doing well. That being said, last season was made more interesting by the addition of a number of new teams. Specifically, Hangzhou Spark and Vancouver Titans breathing new life into the competition.
However, for the Overwatch League Season 3, everything has changed. There have been massive changes in the rosters of teams. We’ve seen the introduction of 2-2-2 – which did actually come in late last season. But now we will have a full season with that approach. 2-2-2 is where your team must consist of 2 DPS heroes, 2 Tank heroes, and 2 Support. Furthermore, we’re seeing the introduction of a new Hero Pool system. Where for certain weekends specific heroes will be banned from being picked.
First, let’s talk about some of the changes to the Rosters. One of the biggest changes has been with London Spitfire. Almost all of their line up has changed. Season One MVP, Profit has moved on to Seoul Dynasty. Additionally, Birdring, Fury, Nus, Bdosin, and Gesture are the other big names to leave the team. Furthermore, Seoul Dynasty have also seen some big changes. All in all, there have been wholesale changes throughout the entire league meaning that there could be a shift in dominance from certain teams.
Throughout the entire league, there are only really two or three teams that haven’t had total changes. One of which is last seasons champions San Francisco Shock. As a result, most people are expecting them to be just as good as before.
Early indications have also suggested that now the 2-2-2 changes are a little more embedded and teams have had the whole offseason to work with it. It’s causing a disruption or rather a resurgence for some teams and players. Last season with the rise of GOATS – a meta that relied on three tanks and three supports being played, we saw Philadelphia Fusion struggle to adapt. However, with a more DPS focused meta now returning, they, and more specifically Carpe – one of the league’s best hit scan players, are back on the rise. They’ve started out the season with some very impressive and dominant performances.
It will be interesting to see how London progress, with the early signs showing that they have some excellent talent but might still be a little rough in team chemistry. NYXL look just as good as usual and seem to have a knack for playing well no matter what the meta is. Last season’s winners the Shock are yet to really get going having only faced Dallas Fuel, but they should also be another team that should perform well and continue with their previous success.
Then there are teams like Seoul Dynasty – who have made some excellent signings. Last year’s runners up Vancouver Titans, who have lost one of the standout Tank players from last season in Bumper but have also made some good new additions. Additionally, fan favourites Shanghai Dragons who pulled off the most impressive redemption ark after losing 42 games in a row. They’re just a few of the other teams to keep an eye on this coming season.
I’m hoping that this season will be a little more wide open with the changes and that we will see a lot more competition throughout the league.
One thing that is going to add to that potential uncertainty is the introduction of the Hero pool. For certain weeks we are going to see specific heroes locked out of being selected. Not only will it mean that we will see more interesting and varied compositions from teams. But it also provides other teams who might not necessarily be as good or as tight of a team on certain meta’s more of a chance to win. One thing that is already coming out from this season has been mirror comps, where both teams pick the same heroes mirroring each other.
This means that fights are usually decided by individual skill and getting that initial pick to gain the upper hand – hence Carpe starting to dominate again.
The main thing is that it gives the players the chance to stand out more. There are some insanely talented players throughout this league who’s aim, reaction times and all-round ability just wasn’t able to shine in the GOAT’s meta. However, with the hero pool changes and 2-2-2 we can expect to see a lot more individual highlight-reel plays from anyone and everyone.
The final major change to come to the Overwatch League this season is the introduction of Home match weekends. Throughout the season different teams home cities will host matches live. It’s a brilliant way for fans around the world to get to see their favourite teams up close doing their thing.
Initially, I was a little skeptical about this move. Mainly because it’s a hell of a lot of travel and the schedule for the league is already pretty hectic. But it seems to be fairly well balanced so far with only some of the teams featuring on a weekend. Therefore meaning others get a bit of a break.
One thing that I have noticed with the introduction of cities hosting home games is that the crowd is completely flat if anyone other than their team is winning. Hopefully, that won’t be the case the whole time and we’ll start to see a bit more support for all teams competing.
Seeing as this game was initially something I picked up on a bit of whim. It sure has done me well. However, it’s been a while since I’ve played Overwatch having uninstalled it a few months back. As a result, I wasn’t sure I would be as invested this season. But so far, this season’s Overwatch League has been excellent and I can’t wait to see how the season progresses.