OGN Apex Overwatch Season Three Pre-Season Power Rankings

OGN Apex Season three is quickly approaching. Now two seasons in, it’s clear who the favorites are and which teams will have to work their way up. Lunatic-Hai are the defending champs, but it’s not out of the question to see a meteoric rise from a team similar to the upstart RunAway.

However, with little player acquisition during the offseason, more teams will have better chemistry and familiarity with their teams. Look for more consistent results this season as teams continue to grow together. Here are my preseason Power Rankings before the season kicks off on April 28th.

1. Lunatic-Hai
The defending Champions bring back a full roster to begin their title defense. Lunatic-Hai will still have the matchup advantages, with two of the best supports, and possibly the best player in all of competitive Overwatch, Lee “Who.r.u” Seung Joon. They’ll look to be the first team to repeat as Apex champions.

2. RunAway
Season two was the coming out party for one of the most talented teams in Overwatch. Future stars like Ryu “Kaiser” Sang Hoon and Kim “Haksal” Hyo Jong made their presence known on the national stage. Despite blowing a 3-1, the underdog team will be a heavy favorite to make another deep playoff run in season three.

3. LW Blue
LW Blue, after another solid season, have cemented their place as a top-three team in Overwatch. The full roster is back for season three, and this could be the season LW Blue finally puts an entire season together to win it all. The only losses on their record last season: Lunatic-Hai (3-0), KongDoo Pantera (5-4 in overall games), and barely losing to RunAway in the semifinals (3-2). This team is close to breaking through.

4. MetaAthena
Similarly to RunAway, MetaAthena surprised the Overwatch world in season two. First by taking out the season one champions in group A (Team EnvyUs), and then making it all the way through to the playoffs. MetaAthena is a true threat to win the whole thing, and in my eyes, one of the best rosters in the entire league. Keep an eye on Chou “Hoon” Jae Hoon to have another big season.

5. KongDoo Panthera 
At certain points during season two, the Panthera squad looked like the best team in the league. The 9-0 in the group stages (including 3-0 over RunAway), only to be halted in the second group by MetaAthena, and eventually LW Blue. It was a disappointing end to their season, but with their DPS centered roster, it will be a tough draw again in season three. That said, Pantera did add two needed tank mains, which will change their approach.

6. KongDoo Uncia
The other side of KongDoo Tuesday is the exciting Uncia squad. The favorite heading into season two looked strong early on, but then got a bad break with their group two draw (RunAway and Lunatic-Hai in group). Now this team made some changes, moving one of the top DPS mains, in Kim “Birdring” Ji Hyuk. It’ll be interesting to see if the new faves will make the same impact.

Graphic is wrong: INTERNETHULK is not on EnVyUs

7. Team EnVyUs
The best non-Korean team is back after failing to repeat as champions. After a fairly dominant season one, EnvyUs struggled to make it out of the group stages. The perception around the league is that this is one of the weaker teams in Apex. EnvyUs did lose Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka, but he was one of the main reasons this team struggled in season two. A stronger support main will be a huge help to their front end players.

8. Afreeca Freecs Blue
The Blue squad surprised people by making it into group stage two, but that run didn’t last long. This team’s ceiling is still plenty high, especially with the addition of KongDoo Uncia’s support main, Yoo “Lucid” Jun Seo. Look for this team to be a threat in group stage one.

9. BK Stars
BK Stars were one of the most efficient teams in season one, but after a disappointing season two, this team looks to get back to the playoffs. This team was close to winning it all in season one, but that’s ancient history now. With little changes made to the roster, this team will have plenty of familiarity with each other.

10. Rogue
Rogue is back in Apex after sitting out season two. The second best foreign team in Overwatch will have to readjust to a league that made huge strides in season two in terms of skill. Even with a successful season one, this team will have their hands full.

11. X6-Gaming
In terms of sleeper teams, X6 could be the team to watch in season three. Sweeping through challenger with little hiccups shows this team’s potential. There’s no doubt this team deserves to be in the premier league.

12. ConBox Spirit
Similarly to BK Stars, ConBox has been around since season one, and has been good enough to stay in the premiere league. It took them winning on super week, but they showed they were in a class above the rest as they easily took care of business to avoid relegation.

13. Mighty AOD
After missing out on making the premier league in season two, Mighty AOD stormed through super week to finish second in their group. AOD took out FlashLux twice in challenger with relative ease. This could be another surprise squad in season three.

14. MVP Space
The sister squad, MVP Infinity, was relegated out of the premier league, and now it’s MVP Space’s turn. They even blew out Infinity 3-0 to make it through. But the 3-0 loss to ConBox raises some questions.

15. FlashLux
The most underwhelming team in season two barely makes it back by winning the losers group to qualify. The one promising aspect in season two was playing as a team in tournament. More familiarity in season three might do them some good.

16. Rhinos Gaming Wings
After being relegated in season two, Rhinos Gaming Wings is back. The wins over MVP Infinity and AfreecaFreecs Red pushed them over the top. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Rhinos as they look to avoid relegation in season three.

Photos courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/overwatch/Overwatch_APEX/Season_3

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Lunatic-Hai Coming Back from 3-1: One of the greatest moments in Overwatch history

Amidst the legion of screaming fan-girls, Lunatic-Hai stayed composed enough while falling behind 3-1 in games to come back and win an epic Grand Final that will be remembered for a very long time. Doing so, Lunatic-Hai launched themselves into stardom as the best team in a new burgeoning esports scene.

The run from the start of OGN Apex Season Two for the Korean based squad wasn’t easy. The two group stages netted them a 5-1 record, but overall Lunatic-Hai had closer games than expected. The struggle really began when they faced off for the first time with the upstart free agent team, RunAway.

The story of Season Two was all about RunAway’s improbable run to the Finals, putting Lunatic-Hai’s consistency in the back seat. It’s incredible what momentum can accomplish, and after RunAway took the group over Lunatic-Hai in round two, the pink sweaters looked unstoppable. The momentum from that win carried over into the playoff stage and into the Finals.

The actual match was truly an epic one that deserves to be looked at as one of the most exciting Grand Finals ever. It not only provided fans with close games, but also set up a collapse on par with the Cleveland Indians and Golden State Warriors. RunAway continued the trend, going up 3-1 in sets, only to fall back down to earth in the most soul-crushing way imaginable.

Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/OGN_OW

Game 1

RunAway got the early lead, winning on Oasis, a map they went 6-3 on during the regular season. It went to game three but Lee “Stitch” Choong Hui and Kim “Haksal” Hyo Jong outplayed their DPS counterparts while Ryu “Kaiser” Sang Hoon controlled the defense with Reinhardt and Winston.

Game 2
Game two was an instant classic. Lunatic-Hai and RunAway are both known for their excellent play on hybrid maps. Lunatic-Hai is especially good on these maps, fronting a 7-2 record with the only losses coming to RunAway in group two. RunAway, on the other hand, finished the season 3-0 on Hollywood.

However, early on it looked like Lunatic-Hai was going to roll through map two. It took a valiant last point defense spearheaded by Kaiser and strong ultimate usage to hold-off the offense. The hold opened the door for a full RunAway cap and a 2-0 series lead. At that point, the unthinkable started to slowly become reality. RunAway had a legitimate shot to take home the top prize.

Game 3
Despite the series deficit, Lunatic-Hai never seemed down on themselves in the booth. They took a quick 2-1 victory on Volskaya Industries in game three with Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk playing the aggressive Winston and turning disadvantaged team fights with primal rage. Lee “Whoru” Seung Joon finished off RunAway with two separate three kill nano-boosted demon blades.

Game 4
Once again, game four displayed the pure skill on RunAway’s roster. Without question, the best Reinhardt in season two, Kaiser, stuck to his aggressive style out of shield and propelled RunAway to the final cap. Stitch continues to improve on his Soldier: 76 play and that was apparent once again on Route 66. The win put RunAway one game away from the ultimate glory.

Lunatic-Hai, after a dream season, was on the brink of elimination. The best team had to win three straight games on a two control point map, an escort map, and finally a hybrid. Luckily for Lunatic-Hai, those game types match up with exactly how they like to play. Lunatic-Hai had a 12-5 record on those three map types, but three of those losses were at the hands of RunAway who also excel on them.

Game 5
Lunatic-Hai’s smart strategic, game planning showed through on Hanamura. On the defensive side second point, the upstairs defense with Kim “Esca” In-jae on Mei and Whoru getting three kill team fights with demon blade was a good combo. The best Ana in Overwatch also played an enormous role. Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-Hong landed an immaculate amount of sleep darts, not only on Hanamura, but the entire set. He would get sleep darts to delay spawns and that was a huge advantage for Lunatic-Hai.

On offense, it took Yang “Tobi” Jin-mo holding off a Haksal graviton surge with Lucio’s sound barrier to eventually push RunAway back to win the map. It was a team effort as almost everyone contributed. It wasn’t until this win that momentum started to build for Lunatic-Hai. After the win, I’ve never seen a more excited Lunatic squad.

ESCA and Tobi Celebrating after game 5 win. Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/OGN_OW

Game 6
It was only Lunatic-Hai’s second game on Dorado all season. The first came against MetaAthena in the semifinals, a game they lost 2-3. Against RunAway on offense, it was looking bleak. Big ultimate pushes were being held on last point and as we saw against MetaAthena, that’s the area they struggle in. It took chipping away and forcing RunAway into bad situations to barely get the final cap before overtime.

Now in an elimination game, Lunatic-Hai needed a full-hold more than ever. This was RunAway’s first game on Dorado, so strats might not have been as refined as other escort maps. The inexperience showed for RunAway, as the aggressive defense from Lunatic-Hai gave them problems. RunAway couldn’t find a way to damage the back line. Whoru continued to get four kill demon blades and Esca’s hit and run style with Tracer gave RunAway fits on the cart.

A full-hold on Dorado had completely shifted any sort of momentum back to Lunatic-Hai’s favor. The two DPS mains were playing fantastic while Tobi and Ryujehong made it real tough for RunAway with their survivability.

RunAway Looking Gloom after losing game 6. Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/OGN_OW

Game 7
There’s absolutely nothing greater in sports than a game seven. Every play in a game seven is infinitely more crucial and teams have to take advantage of every little opportunity. Lunatic-Hai, with two consecutive wins, knew they were in the drivers seat. It all came down to Eichenwalde. Win and forever be a champion, lose and go home thinking “what if.”

In the round two set, RunAway got the better of Lunatic-Hai on Eichenwalde. A last point Pharah defense was the difference there. RunAway, up until game seven, was the most proficient team on Eichenwalde, holding a 3-0 record. Lunatic-Hai had one last chance to even the score in the biggest moment of their careers.

Lunatic-Hai started on offense first. The first real surprise came with Ryujehong switching off his usual Ana and going Zenyatta. This decision alone carried them on offense. Four team engagements took place and Lunatic-Hai WON ALL FOUR convincingly. It didn’t take much as the discord let Esca and Whoru cause havoc on RunAway’s tanks. The run ended with four minutes on the clock and a very confident Lunatic-Hai heading into defense.

Every championship team has their moment. It’s a moment where it feels and looks like no one is on your level. That moment came on the defensive side of Eichenwalde for Lunatic-Hai. In every way imaginable, Lunatic-Hai took control of their own destiny by outplaying, outsmarting, and keeping their nerves to a minimum.

Finally, Lunatic-Hai is the OGN Apex Season Two champions, the best team in the world at Overwatch. It was a valiant effort from RunAway, but from the start of group one, it was clear who the best team in Overwatch was and now it’s solidified.

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Blizzard Asking Investors to Commit to the Overwatch League With High Priced Entry Fee

https://plus.google.com/+Blizzard

After months of silence from Blizzard since the announcement of the Overwatch league, they’ve finally revealed the entrance fee. Teams will be able to buy-in for the cheap price of anywhere from $2 million to $15 million, according to Sports Business Daily.

Details are still scarce at this point on what buying-in entails for a new team owner. It was reported that the price is set appropriate to the market they’re buying into. For example, to start an Overwatch franchise in Los Angeles, California, a huge esports market, will set a buyer back $15 million. Most markets will even out at $2-$5 million with the large markets going closer to $10m.

With this information, Blizzard has made it clear that they are committed and highly value this new league. If this is what they’re asking owners for at the conception of the league, Blizzard is expecting this to be a highly-profitable venture. In the past, esports leagues formed with franchising in mind, but never had the backing that the Overwatch league will have with Blizzard.

It’s a brand new idea and is not guaranteed to be a success. Blizzard is asking owners to trust in a game that hasn’t proved itself as an esports title yet. It’s also essentially going all-in on one esports title, with the going rate set in the millions. Most major teams can afford the entry fee, but might spread them a little thin across other titles.

The idea behind it is to setup an established Overwatch league, similar to the more successful sports leagues in America (NFL, MLB, etc.). Stadium tickets and merchandising will be the main draw for potential investors. Also, to be apart of the worlds firs esports league with franchised teams.

Revenue Sharing 

At this point, there are no details on how the revenue sharing will work between all teams. People have speculated it could look similar to League of Legends LCS, but those are just rumors. This new league will avoid some of the LCS’s pitfalls in relegation , which will allow fans to become more familiar with players and teams. This will drive up profits. Also, getting to cheer for the home town team will instantly give fans a reason to invest in a team.

The issue right now is whether or not esports fans will support this new idea enough to keep it alive. Overwatch has a highly-active player-base, but most competitive Overwatch matches average out at about 15k viewers a stream. Now, that’s not bad for a new esports title, but turning around and asking owners for millions of dollars is a little suspect.

The idea is to tap into this massive player-base and create a fan base through them. There is no guarantee that it will work. Overwatch is a great game to play, but watching can be an entirely different story. The action in a match can be hectic and hard-to-follow for casual fans. It’s hard to get a grasp on which players are the ones to watch.

Ultimately, Blizzard will have to make updates to the UI and add more in-depth statistical data to make it easier on fans. It will take some tweaking to make this work. With Blizzard’s backing, however, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for owners to invest. As a fan myself, I hope this league is the future of esports. A more familiar setup will entice the traditional sports fan to watch. This could be the next step in the evolution of esports.

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Overwatch’s Newest Addition: Orisa

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch’s newest hero, Orisa, is now on the PTR (Public Test Region), and I highly recommend you get on and give her a try. In the few hours that I’ve had with her, I’ve come to respect and admire her beautifully made kit. Orisa seems to work best with champions that synergize with her abilities and play style. Let’s take a look at Efi Oladele’s newest creation.

Initial Thoughts

While Orisa is not as tanky as current tanks such as Reinhardt or Roadhog, she more than makes up for it with her versatile ability kit. Orisa excels with a team that can support her wide variety of abilities. Characters such as Zarya, Mei, and Reinhardt can enhance her ability to aid her team, by adding additional crowd control, sustained healing, and damage absorption. Orisa falls short to characters such as Genji or Pharah, and will need support from her team when dealing with these threats. Let’s dive into her abilities, see what they do, and how they aid her team.

Primary Ability – Fusion Driver – 200 Round Capacity – Ranged – Reload Time: ~2.5 Seconds. 

Fusion Driver lays out impressive and consistent ranged damage with a 200 round magazine, while slowing her movement speed slightly. Fusion Driver provides excellent ranged support with little spread. Additionally, when combined with Halt!, Orisa can put out high damage from a safe range. Because of the large magazine capacity of Fusion Driver, players need not worry about reloading after every time they fire, as her reload time is moderately high. Think of Orisa’s Fusion Driver  as a heavy assault/support weapon.

Secondary Ability – Halt! – Cooldown: 8 Seconds – Effective Radius: 7.5 Meters

Orisa shoots a graviton charge at a target location, pulling all nearby enemies into a cluster and slowing their movement speed. Halt can be detonated before it reaches the target location, allowing Orisa to provide awesome crowd control for her team.

Note: Halt! can be blocked by both Genji and D.Va, so use with caution against them. For Genji, try to project Halt! either in front of him, or to the side. Remember, the radius of effect is ~20 feet, so you have plenty of room to work with. Also, when combined with other abilities, such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter, Zarya’s Graviton Surge, or Mei’s Blizzard, you can layer nasty Crowd Control against the enemy team. Everybody loves Crowd Control.

Ability 1 – Fortify – Duration: 4 Seconds – Cooldown: 10 Seconds – Damage Reduction: 50% 

Orisa activates a self-shield, reducing damage she takes by 50%, and becomes immune to ANY action-impairing effects. Fortify is a key ability which enables Orisa to absorb incredible amounts of damage while maintaining her freedom to move around. Fortify has several uses, and is easily one of Orisa’s best abilities. Let’s take a look at a few of the abilities Orisa becomes immune to.

  1. Reinhardts Charge and Earthshatter.
  2. Mei’s Blizzard, and Endothermic Blaster.
  3. Zarya’s Graviton Surge.
  4. Roadhog’s Chain Hook.
  5. Pharah’s Concussive Blast.
  6. Lucio’s Soundwave.
  7. Sombra’s Hack.
  8. Junkrat’s Concussion Mine and Steel Trap.
  9. D.Va’s Boosters knockback.
  10. Ana’s Sleep Dart.

Additionally, Fortify allows Orisa to survive annoying but deadly ultimate’s such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct, or Hanzo’s Dragonstrike. These are just a few of the many beneficial uses that Fortify offers.

 

Ability 2 – Protective Barrier – Absorb Amount: 900 – Duration: 20 Seconds – Cooldown: 12 Seconds  (Starts on use)

Orisa tosses out a stationary barrier which protects her and any allies from hostile fire. Orisa may only have one Protective Barrier active at a time. The barrier will last through her death. Protective Barrier should be used on cooldown, provided there is actually a use for it. Additionally, because it lasts for 20 seconds, it has a chance of being off cooldown when or if you want to place it again. Especially relevant, keep in mind that Protective Barrier is not as strong as Reinhardt’s shield. Effective placement of Protective Barrier is important, because it is stationary. Once it goes down, you can’t move it, and must wait for the cooldown.

Ultimate Ability – Supercharger – Health: 200 – Damage Increase: 50% – Radius: 25 Meters – Duration: 15 Seconds

Orisa places down a device which increases damage inflicted by her teammates who are within her line of sight. This device has low health, and needs to be protected. Also, Supercharger works well with heroes such as Winston or Reinhardt, who both have protective abilities. Furthermore, Supercharger has incredible offensive capability, and shines brightest when defending or attacking a point. Overall, with a nice buff, yet fragile health pool, this ability seems pretty balanced.

That’s all for now on Orisa! I hope you find some useful information here in this guide and review. Therefore, Orisa seems to be a very versatile hero. She is already more than proving her worth on the PTR. With that, I’m off to get some more playtime with Orisa! From all of us at The Game Haus, I’m David. As always, Good Luck, Have Fun! See you on the PTR!

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Reference:

Orisa Stats Reddit.com

OGN Apex Season 2 Playoffs are Here

The OGN Apex second regular season has come to a close, as Fnatic and Cloud9 miss the playoffs. The west only gets one team in EnvyUs. After an exhausting decision making process, the round two groups have been decided.

Based on random drawings of the first seeds, the groups were decided. Lunatic-Hai got the first pick, and not only do they get to pick their group, but also their opponent. They chose the defending champions, EnvyUs. With all the Korean teams polled, most teams wanted to face the one foreign team.

  • Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/ognglobal

The Group of Death 

For example, the challenger qualifier team, Meta Athena, beat EnvyUs 3-0 in the group stages. The top ranked team showed weaknesses and now has to play in the group of death. In the other match in group A, KongDoo Uncia will face Runaway. Uncia’s sister team, Panthera, had a strong showing against RunAway, holding them to only one point in the entire match.

Additionally, DNCE (Kim Se Yong), from Uncia said “he wanted to get it over with” referring to playing either EnvyUs or the other top Korean team Lunatic-Hai. One of the three best teams in the world will be eliminated before the bracket. The hope for foreign Overwatch all relies on the skills of Taimou (Timo Ketunnen) and HarryHook (Jonathon Tejedor Rua) who carried them to this point.

Prediction: Lunatic-Hai is the most well-rounded team in group A. The supports are possibly the best in all of Overwatch with Whoru (Lee Seunf Joon) playing the DPS role at an extremely high level. KongDoo Uncia will be the second seed. Uncia struggled against Cloud 9, but this team still has strong enough tank players to beat EnvyUs.

photo courtesy of twitch.tv/ognglobal

Group B

In group B, it will most likely come down to who can beat KongDoo Panthers. MetaAthena had a strong showing in round one by beating EnvyUs 3-0. It was the most shocking result of the regular season. MetaAthena had the best draft, avoiding three of the top four teams.

On the other hand, LW Blue and Afreeca Freecs Blue are no slouches. AFB finished second last year in Apex and LW Blue is highly regarded as one of the best teams. The prohibitive favorites will be the latter, but these teams can give them a run for their money. AFB had a rough regular season escaping out from group C by eliminating Cloud 9.

Prediction: it’s tough seeing anyone beat Panthera with their ability to adjust to compositions with excellent flex play. KongDoo Panthera wins the group. MetaAthena is clearly the second best team, Hoon (Choi Jae Hoon) is one of the best Zarya players in a sea of Korean Zarya’s.

The Disappointments
It was a sad day for western Overwatch. Misfits, Cloud 9, and Fnatic all missed the playoffs. Misfits and Cloud 9 had their chance to recover, but lost in the last set to miss out. Cloud 9 took a strong Uncia club to game 5, but ended up getting full-held on Eichenwalde. Each team finished third in their respective groups.

Furthermore, Korean teams like BK Stars and Conbox Spirit had a letdown season. As HarryHook said early on, “it seems harder to win this season.” The level of play has clearly gone up and the rest of the teams need to play catch-up. Squads like Cloud 9 and Misfits, who barely missed the playoffs, might need a retool. The rest might need a full-rebuild.

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Reinhardt Guide – The German Juggernaut

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

One of Overwatch’s best known heroes, Reinhardt, charges into the fray, literally. Reinhardt has the hit points to soak up damage, a massive war hammer to challenge any who get close, and a strong shield for defense. This Reinhardt guide highlights abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and play strategies to aid your team. Let’s take a look.

Primary Ability:  Rocket Hammer – Range: Melee (5 Meter Cone) Reload: N/A

Reinhardt swings his Rocket Hammer in a wide arc, dealing damage to all enemies hit and pushing them back slightly.

Pros: Excellent Melee Damage

Most enemies, with the exception of a few, such as McCree, Reaper, or Roadhog, who are within melee range of Reinhardt’s hammer will quickly realize they’re making a mistake. Reinhardt can eliminate low health targets he manages to get within melee range of. Additionally, in close quarters such as hallways, Rocket Hammer becomes even more deadly.

Cons: Vulnerability, Forced Close Combat

When Reinhardt is swinging his hammer, he is unable to shield both himself as well as his team. Knowing when to engage in melee combat is important and will boost not only your survivability, but the survivability of your teammates as well.

Key Tip: Animation Cancelling

Reinhardt can cancel the animation of his Rocket Hammer by either using Barrier Field, or Fire Strike. This can allow him to attack sooner than if he followed through with the full animation. This enables him to output damage faster. Keep in mind, this prevents Reinhardt’s hammer from hitting all targets.

Secondary Ability: Barrier Field – Absorb Capacity: 2000 Damage – Recharge Rate: ~200 shield per second (While not active after 2 seconds)

Reinhardt projects a shield in front of him, shielding him and any allies standing behind it.

Pros: Large Absorb Capacity, Shield For Team

Blocking heavy damage with Barrier Field just feels good. The shield’s size enables Reinhardt to shield both himself and his allies from tremendous amounts of damage. Additionally, Barrier Field recharges after not using it for two seconds, allowing Reinhardt to maximize on its use.

Cons: Slowed Movement Speed, Only One Direction of Defense

When Reinhardt is channeling his shield, he loses a portion of movement speed. Additionally, Reinhardt can only face one direction while he has Barrier Field active, so his teammates must be aware of this. As well, any strategic enemies will know this and try to hit him from multiple points, forcing him to retreat if he does not have any allies to aid him.

Ability 1 – Charge: Cooldown: 10 Seconds (3 if interrupted) 

Reinhardt charges forward at a high speed. When Reinhardt contacts the first enemy hit, they will become grabbed by him. Reinhardt will carry the caught enemy for the full duration of Charge, or until he makes contact with a physical surface. If Reinhardt manages to pin his enemy to a solid surface, such as a payload or wall, Charge will deal a large amount of damage. Know when to charge. Know when not to charge.

Pros: Speed Boost, Significant Damage, Enemy Removal

Charge has a variety of uses. First, Charge increases Reinhardt’s speed, allowing him to quickly travel a large distance. This enables him to return to objectives faster. Second, if Reinhardt manages to pin an enemy to a wall or other physical object, that enemy will take heavy damage, or die. Third, Charge is a great tool to remove enemy players from an intense firefight between teams. Last, charge is best used in medium to small quarters, where the enemy has less time to react to it.

Cons: Decreased Mobility, Potential Dangers

Because of the movement boost of Charge, Reinhardt’s mobility takes a hit. First, this can allow enemies to sidestep out of the way, negating its use. This can be dangerous by putting Reinhardt behind enemy lines, and away from his team. Also, using Charge when taking heavy damage can effectively be a death-sentence for Reinhardt. When charging, he drops all of his defenses, relying only on his large health pool to survive the duration of Charge.

Ability 2 – Fire Strike: Damage: 100 – Type: Piercing Projectile – Cooldown: 6 Seconds

One of my favorite abilities is Fire Strike. Reinhardt slings a large flaming ball at his target, dealing damage.

Pros: Ranged Ability, Able to Pierce Shields and Players, Moderately Low Cooldown

With its moderate cooldown, excellent range, and solid damage, Fire Strike pulls its weight. Additionally, Fire Strike is able to pierce both shields and players alike, enabling it to hit multiple targets at once. Also, this ranged ability deals the same amount of damage regardless of distance.

Cons: 

I can’t think of any serious flaws with this ability. It seems pretty balanced as well, with its six second cooldown preventing spamming.

Ultimate Ability: Earthshatter – Damage: 50 – Damage Type: Cone Stun Duration: 2.5 Seconds

Reinhardt slams his Rocket Hammer into the ground, damaging and knocking down enemies in front of him.

Pros: Crowd Control

Crowd Control, (also known as CC) can be the difference between winning or losing a team fight. With a stun which lasts 2.5 seconds, this ability cannot be overlooked. It is important after using Earthshatter to maximize damage. This can be done by using Earthshatter, following into Fire Strike, and then swinging your Rocket Hammer. Charge can be used, but usually Fire Strike into Auto Attacks puts out the most damage. This ability has the potential to win team fights. Earthshatter can also be used in 1v1 fights if you know you will land a kill. I usually reserve charge if I am trying to remove a key hero from the fight.

Cons: Relatively Short Range, Weak Damage

Be sure when using Earthshatter not to underestimate how far away enemy heroes are. If you synergize Earthshatter on top of Lucio’s Crossfade, you can catch the enemy team off guard. Also, because of Earthshatter’s weak damage, it should not be relied on solely for landing kills.

 

That’s it for the German Juggernaut. Hopefully you found some useful information in this Reinhardt guide regarding Reinhardt’s strengths and weaknesses. Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments below! From all of us here at TGH, I’m David, and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun.

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OGN Apex Weekly Roundup: Widowmaker Makes its Return into the Meta

The Widowmaker pick has made its valiant return to professional play. Overwatch’s competitive scene is moving back toward a more diverse team composition. Many characters are viable in this meta, and teams are starting to experiment.

The Apex league is where most of the experiments and well thought-out team compositions come into fruition. The strategies from these teams get carried across the world; basing it off of this week, sniper play is going to be imperative moving forward in this meta.

Now let’s get to the games.

KongDuesday

Photo via twitch.tv/ognglobal

The Tuesday games came up all KongDOO, as both the Uncia and Pantera squads played, and won convincingly. It’s no secret these are two of the better teams in Apex, but both teams coming out with a 3-0 result was unexpected. Both squads currently sit at 3-0 with a +6 in their respective groups.

First off, the Uncia team faced off against ConBox, who needed a win desperately to stay alive. Unfortunately for them, Uncia’s positioning and ultimate usage was on point. Uncia’s starting strategy on LI Jiang is to run directly into the point and defend. The back end healing of Lucid (Yoo Jun Seo) with his Ana or Panker’s (Lee Byung Ho) Reinhardt stayed strong. The positioning allowed for the two Uncia healers to stay safe.

The damage plays from DNCE (Kim Se Yong) and Butcher (Yoon Seong Won) were critical in the win. Butcher was the player of the game on Zarya. His forward, aggressive style allowed for him not only to deal plenty of damage, but to constantly have graviton surges available. The difference in this game ultimately stemmed from their ability to have more ultimates available in each game.

It wasn’t any gimmick either. Uncia stayed the course with the “power composition”: three tanks, one damage, and two supports. Biriding’s (Kim Ji Hyuk) high-ground cover on Soldier 76 on maps like Kings Row and Temple of Anubis put Conbox in terrible situations. The strategy for Uncia clearly centered around Birding’s ability to get good sight lines on high-ground.

Next off, Pantera showed the skill gap between them and the rest of their group. RunAway looked like a team capable of pulling off a massive upset, but not against Pantera. RunAway is still alive in the round two chase, but will have to go through Fnatic.

Testing out strategies seemed to play a major factor in KongDoo Pantera’s win. On the second map (Numbani), Pantera tried out a Torbjorn/Mei composition, and it paid off. Despite RunAway taking the less ideal lower route on Numbani, the Mei play of Rascal (Kim Dong Jim) was the difference maker. His ability to stall and throw out clutch blizzards to sustain a defense.

The snowball was in effect. Rascal took Mei to Hanamura and was the main reason Pantera got a full-hold on first point. The damage characters would get grabbed by RunAway, only to see Rascal use Mei’s ice wall to block off the chain and save their lives. After, Wakawaka (An Jee Ho) switched on to the Widowmaker and got two early headshots, making it a 6-4 team fight that eventually won Pantera the set and game.

It was clear the team more willing to make adjustments and try new compositions got rewarded. The frags weren’t always favoring Pantera, so being able to get a 3-0 shows this team’s knowledge of the game. Pantera and Uncia lock up their group two spots.

Foreign Invasion

Photo via twitch.tv/ognglobal

If Tuesday brought us strong Korean play, Friday brought us strong foreign play. Anyone who has followed the Overwatch competitive scene knows about EnvyUs’s skill. Misfits, on the other hand, aren’t as well known; but we saw some dominant play from the French side as well. EnvyUs sets up a group A championship with MetaAthena next week.

EnvyUs took care of business against the worst team in their group: BK Stars. BK Stars isn’t a joke, as they were a top-team in season one. But, they fell into the group of death, and that includes the world’s best: EnvyUs. It ended in a swift 3-0 victory for the American based team.

The story of the day was Taimou (Timo Kattenun) on Widowmaker, turning around entire team fights. His knowledge of specific angles showed on maps like Volskaya Industries. He had a few highlight reel plays that awarded EnvyUs control points.

The rest of the team showed up in other areas. HarryHook (Jonathon Tejedor aria) on the other DPS characters, primarily switching off Reaper and Soldier: 76 to deal with tank-heavy-compositions or play from the back line and get free shots. His positioning on Kings Row and Volskaya allowed for EnvyUs to stay spread out on control points. BK stars would search for shield battles with Reinhardt, and instead get caught in the crossfire father, EnvyUs.

Misfits stay alive

The French squad needed a win to stay alive, as did Afreeca Freecs Red. The only problem for Afreeca was Misfits had Tviq (Kevyn Lindstrom) and they didn’t.. arguably the worlds best player showed up again playing a multitude of characters. Mei, Soldier: 76, McCree, Tracer, and even some Hanzo play. Any character he took out of the vault worked last Friday.

Ultimate economy and positioning weren’t far off for either team in this match. The game was won and lost by getting players to the back-line and keeping those support players alive. Nevix (Andreas Karlsson) and Zave (Kalle Haag Nilsson) were instrumental in winning team fights with different sets of supports (mostly Ana and Lucio) for Misfits. Tviq’s ability to flank and get clear shots on healers and DPS ended most team fights positively for Misfits.

Outside of Tviq, Zebbosai (Sebastian Olson) on the Zarya did great amounts of damage. He was the one consistently building and landing successful ultimates. The forward play, as has become standard in this current meta-game, with the tanks, allowed for Misfits to get clean hooks and built ultimate charge on the tanks. Misfits took advantage of this with the constant flanking and their tendency to not take shield battles in favor of positioning.

Next week’s schedule
Afreeca Freecs Blue (0-1) will take on Cloud9 (1-0) on Tuesday for the second spot in group C. Fnatic (0-1) will face FlashLux (0-1) to try and keep pace with RunAway (1-1).

The Friday games aren’t as enticing with MVP Infinity vs. BK Stars who are both eliminated. LW Blue will also have to match Misfits by beating Afreeca Freecs Red. A win for LW Blue will put themselves in round two.

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Overwatch Apex Season 2 Week 3 Recap

Week 3 hit right after the latest 1.7 patch, so teams weren’t hesitant to try out new team compositions. We saw a two sniper composition out of Meta Athena. The standard three tank, one DPS, and two support made its return, but in limited showing. The 2-2-2 balance also made a return, as Genji is prominently back in the center of the meta-game.

This week also displayed the newest control point map in Oasis. Teams had interesting strategies, mostly trying to push teams into the smaller choke points. It should be featured in more Overwatch tournaments and events in the future. Now let’s talk about this week’s matchups.

photo via twitch.tv/ognglobal

Meta Athena vs. MVP Infinity

Meta Athena moves to 2-0 (+4) in the group of death (Group A), taking out MVP Infinity 3-2. MVP moves to 0-2 (-2) and is now in need of a miracle to make it out of the group one stages. The win for Meta sets up a group A finals between them and the current number one ranked team in the world, EnvyUs, in a couple weeks.

The match from last night provided plenty of highlight reel plays from both sides, but especially out of the main DPS players from Meta Athena in Sayaplayer (Ha Jeong Woo), Libero (Kim Hye Sung), and the aggressive Zarya play out of Hoon (Choi Jae Hoon). The aggressive style on maps like Illios and Hanamura gave Meta the edge, allowing for strong team pushes while Sayaplayer flanked primarily with his Tracer.

MVP prepared more set plays and specific setups and that ultimately backfired as they weren’t able to adjust to Meta’s constant character swapping. For example, the Torbjorn pick from Undine (Son Yeong Woo) on Hanamura was sound on first point, but once Meta was able to power through first and move on to second with better ultimate economy, the Torbjorn became useless.

The set plays on Numbani and the tough defense on Route 66 kept MVP in it until game five. The turning point was the double sniper composition from Meta. Libero on the Hanzo and Sayaplayer on Widowmaker. The unexpected picks and skill from both players showed through as they were able to get 11 combined final blows on first point Kings Row to eventually take the map and the game. The overall decision making on team compositions, ultimate strategies, and positioning favored Meta Athena.

Runaway vs FlashLux

In a week of back-and-forth sets, Runaway did exactly what their name sake implies: runaway with the victory. The amateur, pink jacket wearing Korean squad showed they are to be taken seriously regardless of the attire they wear. Runaway took out FlashLux 3-0 and is now tied with KongDoo Panthera at the top of group D.

photo via twitch.tv/ognglobal

The synergy and team skill clearly showed. The heavy use of Genji out of Haksal (Kim Hyo Jong) played a huge factor in the team’s win. He carried the team in damage and had plenty of instances where he’d pull out a four-kill team fight. The clever use of dragon blade and his unique ability to get great angles by Genji’s wall-climbing seemed to be the difference in this one. FlashLux had no answer.

On top of Haksal, Kaiser’s (Ryu Sang Hoon) damage output and shield pressure on Reinhardt was impressive. He kept the front line secure and safe. This allowed for players like Haksal and BUMPER (Park Sang Beom) to be more aggressive against the FlashLux supports players.

The positioning was key in RunAway’s win, as they kept pinning Flash Lux in small corridors and finishing them with either graviton surges or earth shatters; this allowed Stitch (Lee Choong Hui) and Haksal to do plenty of damage on Tracer and Genji. With a strong focus on the DPS players, RunAway has a chance to take group D.

KongDoo Uncia vs. Afreeca Freecs Blue

KD Uncia showed up in their win over Afreeca Freecs Blue and moved themselves closer to taking group C. The steady play from one of the top Korean teams on some of the more underplayed maps was impressive. Winning on Oasis, Kings Row, and Watchpoint: Gibralter while sticking primarily with the current meta in terms of team composition.

Lunatic Hai vs. LW Blue

Lunatic Hai essentially sealed up their group B victory with a 3-1 win over LW Blue. The excellent play of their top DPS player Whoru (Lee Seung Joon), who’s arguably been the APEX MVP through the first three weeks, and Miro (Gong Jin-Hyuk) on the Reinhardt has been a major part of this teams’ 2-0 record. Top that with some of the most consistent support plays from Tobi (Yang Jin-mo) and Ryujehong (Ryu Je-Hong) and it’s one of the strongest teams in the entire league.

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Bastion Rework – Upgrade Complete!

 

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Principal Designer Geoff Goodman confirmed that Overwatch’s Bastion will be getting a few noteworthy tweaks. Let’s take a look.

Recon Mode – 

Recon mode will now have lowered spread, allowing for increased accuracy.  Bastion will also receive an increased magazine size to increase his viability in this mode. The general reasoning for this is to hopefully steer players away from corner hugging and sitting in Sentry Mode for the majority of uptime with Bastion.

Sentry Mode – 

As if it already isn’t, the focus for tweaking this mode is to make it more of a tank/shield killer. Additionally, Bastion takes less damage in this mode, will have increased spread, and headshots are removed.

Self-Repair – 

As of now, Blizzard is feeling good with the tweaks they’ve made for this ability. Bastion is able to use Self-Repair while moving, and it is not interrupted when Bastion takes damage. However, this ability will function much like D.Va’s Defense Matrix ability, in that it will be on a resource system. Both developers and players feel like Bastions heal isn’t currently where it needs to be. This change will transform Self-Repair from a rarely used ability, into a frequently used core ability.

 

There’s a lot of talk as to whether Bastion will be replacing Soldier: 76 on offensive team builds. Weighing in on this, I don’t feel like 76 has too much to worry about. As it stands, I believe that this rework will give Bastions defensive capabilities a well-deserved boost, without threatening to put 76 on the bench when it comes to offense. On top of this, I believe that 76 still has better offensive capability simply for the insta-kill potential he has with his Pulse Fire Rifle and Helix Rocket combination. Looking forward to playing a lot more Bastion as well as making a guide in the future when these changes hit the live servers. That’s all for now, I’m David from The Game Haus and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun!

Immortals Wins The NGE Overwatch Winter Premiere

Photo via twitter.com/immortals

From start-to-finish, the Immortals Overwatch squad looked like the best team in the Winter Premiere. After two months of dominating play, Immortals was able to take home the NGE Winter Premiere title at Pax South over Ghost Gaming 3-1.

It wasn’t an easy road to the finals, as Immortals had to fight through four qualifying events just to make it to Pax South. After breezing through the open play, Immortals hit their stride in the group phase, finishing first with a 4-1 record (9-5 game count). The only team that gave them trouble was the team they just defeated in the finals.

Ghost Gaming (formerly Kungarna) transformed from an unsponsored team to one of the most dangerous teams in the entire Winter Premiere. Every game, they seemed to improve and develop more chemistry in terms of positioning and team fights. Unfortunately, Immortals was the one team with enough skill and team synergy to hold off the talented Ghost Gaming squad.

Even without Nomy (David Ramirez), who couldn’t make it due to visa issues according to an Immortals spokesperson, the overall talent was enough to win the event. Immortals had to rely on their former support, Chance (Zac Palmer), to play Reinhardt. Nomy was arguably the best Reinhardt in the entire Winter Premiere. Immortals winning without him shows just how strong the team is.

The play of GrimReality (Christopher Schafer) and Agilities (Brady Girardi) were great throughout the Winter Premiere. In the four tank Overwatch meta, the Roadhog out of Agilities and the Zarya from Grim carried this team. Now, even with the meta moving away from tank heavy compositions, Grim’s McCree and Agilities’ Genji separated them from other teams.

In the finals, GrimReality was unreal. Immortals would place him on high-ground and let him do work. It almost looks like aim bot, but it’s just Grim showing off his ability to turn team fights. Even down a player, he gets instant head shots. He had multiple rounds with four or five kill team fights. It forced Ghost to target him down, leaving everyone susceptible to the strong ultimate play from Immortals.

Immortals ended up 6-1 on LAN, taking out Luminosity Gaming 3-0 in the semifinals. Immortals did a terrific job switching up team compositions, which is especially important considering the 1.7 patch just dropped two days before the event. At times, they’d switch off the classic Ana/Reinhardt and go Zenyatta/Winston. This didn’t work, but showed they were willing to try new things. In the end, getting away from the three tank compositions gave the opposition some issues.

Aythen (Athen Zhu) worked both as a healer and DPS with Ana, allowing Grimreality to get behind the enemy front with Tracer or McCree’s Dead Eye. It was a total team effort. Hyped (George Maganzini) had the most optimal use of his ultimates. He would usually clear out space with his D.Va self-destructs or strong Zarya graviton surges. All six members were crucial for Immortals to get to this spot.

It’s still early in Overwatch’s competitive life-cycle, but Immortals shows that they can compete with anyone. Next step will be seeing if they can handle the top European and Korean teams; but winning the NGE Winter Premiere is a good first step towards world domination.

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