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

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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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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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Soldier: 76 – Enhancing an Old Dogs Performance.

If you’ve ever played first person shooters such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, then Soldier: 76 should feel pretty familiar. With a fully automatic primary weapon, an effective multi-rocket launcher for a secondary weapon, a self heal, and a sprint, he can at first seem quite simple to master. Don’t let this simple tool kit fool you though. There are several tricks you can use in order to maximize your performance with him. Let’s take a look at his abilities, how to increase their usefulness, and how well they pair with other Overwatch heroes.

Primary Weapon – Pulse Rifle – 25 Round Magazine – 1.5 Second Reload Timer. 

Standard automatic rifle. With a 25 round magazine and a 1.5 second reload time, you can tear through your enemies with ease. However, there is a way to increase the effectiveness of this weapon.

  • Know when to fire full auto vs. short, controlled bursts. 

Firing your weapon in small, concentrated bursts can drastically improve its damage output. The first 4 shots fired from the Pulse Rifle won’t cause your target reticle to expand. Utilizing this while aiming at the heads of enemy heroes can cause your damage to ramp up, resulting in faster kills. With a little bit of practice, you can have this down in no time.

  • Utilize the range capability of Pulse Rifle. 

76’s Pulse Rifle works wonders at mid and even far-range.  Keeping a safe distance and firing with short, controlled bursts will improve your threat capability. High-ground vantage points improve your map awareness and your survivability. Having the high-ground advantage lets you pick off heroes who might be hiding behind Reinhardt’s shield, as well as taking out aerial targets such as Pharah.

 

Secondary Weapon – Helix Rockets – 8 Second Cooldown – Blast Radius: 2 Meters.  

76 fires rockets out of his Pulse Rifle which explode wherever they make contact.

  • Keep track of this cooldown. 

It is important to keep track of Helix Rockets cooldown. You don’t want to enter a fight with an enemy hero if you’re on full cooldowns.  Having the availability of your full kit will often decide if you kill, or get killed.

  • Learn to lead your target. 

A lot of players struggle with this. Leading your target will increase the accuracy of Helix Rockets by a ton. Keep in mind that the blast radius of the rockets can also be effective in landing kills as well as spreading your damage to multiple targets. Go for direct rocket hits when you are certain they will hit, such as when they are incapacitated.

  • Master the Rocket jump.

This is arguably the hardest trick to master with 76. If you use your Helix Rocket’s, time it with a jump and Sprint, you can leap really far. Mastering this combo can take your 76 play to a whole new level. There are drawbacks to this risky play though. If you don’t time everything right, you can end up in some dangerous or deadly situations.

 

Ability 1 – Sprint – Duration: Lasts Until Cancelled. 

76 activates his Sprint ability which greatly increases his movement speed.

  • Sprint often. 

Sprinting will save your life. Sprint will get you places faster, such as to the payload or the objective. Sprint will also quickly get you out of dangerous situations such as a Mei ult, a D.Va ult, or a McCree ult, or if you need to heal. You can also chase down fleeing or injured enemies to finish them off.

 

Ability 2 – Biotic Field – Cooldown: 15 Seconds – Duration: 5 Seconds – Area of Effect: 5 Meters – Health Regeneration Rate: 40 Health Per Second. 

76 deploys a healing field at his location, healing himself and all allies within the zone.

  • Turn on Allied Health Bars in your Settings. 

Turning on Allied Health Bars in your settings will not only increase the effectiveness of your Biotic Field, but it will also increase your support capability for your teammates. This can be particularly effective when your team is either trying to capture or defend an objective.

  • Biotic Field cannot be destroyed 

It cannot be targeted or destroyed by enemy abilities.

  • Know where and when to deploy it. 

Knowing where to deploy your healing field is crucial. If you can deploy it safely behind cover, and somewhere where multiple teammates can benefit from it, that’s great. Knowing when to deploy it is also helpful. If you’re taking consistent damage, sometimes it’s best to use Sprint to get to safety and then heal up. This is situational, but good judgement goes a long way when it comes to using this ability.

  • You can deploy Biotic Field on the payload. 

Deploying Biotic Field on a moving payload enables you to create a moving healing zone which can benefit your teammates tremendously.

 

Ultimate Ability – Tactical Visor – Duration: 6 Seconds – Reload Time: 0.75 Seconds

76 activates his visor. All of his shots during the duration of this ability will automatically hit the target that is closest to the center of his crosshairs.

  • Timing is everything. 

Using Tactical Visor at the right time can be a major game changer. Knowing when to use it is crucial to improving your 76 performance.

  • Examples of when to use Tactical Visor. 
    • When the enemy team is incapacitated and unable to act, such as from a Zarya, Reinhardt, or Mei ult. These ults are some of the best times to activate Tactical Visor and can easily lead to an effective team kill.
    • When the enemy team has no shielding capability or little to no cover.
  • Examples of when NOT to use Tactical Visor. 
    • When the enemy team has easy cover to get behind. Popping out with your ult only to see the enemy team quickly get behind cover is not only a terrible waste of your ult, but it also gives them a chance to counterattack.
    • When the enemy team has shielding capability. Reinhardt’s, D.Va’s, and Zarya’s shield can all be very problematic for Tactical Visor. Make sure Reinhardt’s shield is down, and that Zarya’s shield is on cooldown before using Tactical Visor.
  • Prioritize Targets.
    • Tactical Visor can kill low health targets such as Mercy very quickly, increasing your teams odds of winning that fight.
    • Tactical Visor can kill evasive targets such as Tracer and Genji as seen above.

 

That’s all for now! Currently trying to get some solid footage of Rocket Jumping, so I’ll post it when I get it. I still have a lot to work on with Soldier: 76, but I’m feeling more confident in my ability to not only play him, but to better support my team as well. Let us know what you think in the comments section and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun! From all of us here at The Game Haus, I’m David.

 

 

 

 

 

Symmetra Basics – Sassy Sentry Support

 

Photos Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Turret defense games. Most of us have played them. You place a turret and it kills things. Symmetra is no stranger to this mindset. Her rework makes her less reliant on specific situations, and much more capable of aiding her team, either offensively or defensively. Let’s take a look at her reworked abilities, and see how effective they can be.

Primary Weapon –  Photon Projector – 7 Meter Range.

Symmetra’s weapon pulses a short range beam which will attach to a nearby enemy, dealing damage over time. This little death beam has attachment issues. Dare I call it… clingy?

Ability 1 – Sentry Turret – 6 Charges, 10 Sec Recharge Rate.

Symmetra places a small sentry turret on walls, floors, ceilings, and many other objects. The turrets will automatically attack enemies within range. Any enemies hit will have their movement speed reduced temporarily. Symmetra can place up to 6 turrets at any time. Effectively placing your turrets can land some pretty sweet plays. It’s always fun deleting an enemy player with minimal effort.

 

Ability 2 – Photon Barrier – 10 second cooldown. 

Symmetra projects a floating, forward-moving barrier which absorbs a large amount of damage. The cooldown starts as soon as you use the ability. The range the shield will travel depends on whether or not anything is in its path.

 

Ultimate Ability 1 – Teleporter – 6 Charges – Health: 50, Shield: 350.

Symmetra places a teleporter down at her current location. The teleporter connects to another teleporter located in the teams spawn point. Players can use the teleporter near the spawn point to quickly return to battle. Be sure to place your teleporter strategically because it doesn’t take much damage to be destroyed.

Note: If a point is captured, the teleporter will be instantly refunded.

Ultimate Ability 2 – Shield Generator HP: 50 Shield: 350.

Symmetra places a wide range shield generator at her location. The generator provides a 75 damage absorb shield to all nearby teammates. The shield works through walls and other objects, as well as through terrain.

Note: If a point is captured, the generator will be instantly refunded.

These are just the basics for playing Symmetra. Effective placement of her sentry turrets, teleporter, and shield generator can land some pretty sweet Play of the Game’s, multi-kills, and a really enjoyable play experience. That’s all for Symmetra. Let us know what you think in the comments, I’m David from The Game Haus and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun!

A Happy Game Haus Thankgiving

We decided a couple of weeks ago that we wanted to do a Thanksgiving piece and give our readers a chance to get to know us a little better! Below are some of the staff members of TGH telling you all what they are thankful for this holiday season. From Our Haus to Yours, have a very happy Game Haus Thanksgiving!

Jared MacAdam- Head of Esports: Well, I’ll go first, being the only Canadian and my Thanksgiving has passed quite some time ago. I’m thankful for the way this site has grown since its inception, how many great writers we’ve had and all the awesome content we’ve produced. I’m also immensely thankful for the way esports has matured in the past year; we’re seeing leaps and strides in key areas like players well being and stability. It’s an exciting thing to experience and to have a little part in. I’m also thankful for all the weirdos in the Front Office who lovingly mock my Canadianisms.

Josh Burris – Editor: I am thankful for sports. I am a proud Cleveland fan and with the exception of the Browns, good things are happening with our teams. I’m thankful I got to see a Cleveland team win a title. I am also thankful for my family and friendships I have at home, school, and from this site.

Ryan Moran – CFO: I am thankful for family, friends, and football. I am also thankful to be working for TGH and to belong to such an exciting community of sports and esports. I am also thankful of the unifying power of sports and their ability to bring anybody together win or lose.

Tim Miller – Vice President: Of course, when talking about being thankful, I have to be thankful for the opportunity to help lead The Game Haus. I’m also thankful to root for the mighty Ohio State Buckeye football team, and that Marvin Lewis should get fired after this year. I’m also thankful for a loving family and loving girlfriend. Finally, I’m thankful to live in a great country with freedoms like no other (no matter how you feel currently), and to go to a solid, christian university in Cedarville University.

Robert Hanes- President: While these last 365 days have been some of the most challenging times in my life, I can say that I have so many things to be grateful for. To start, everyone here at The Game Haus. These people are incredible, as you can read in their paragraphs of what they are thankful for. They have all gone through many things and have worked their butts off while working here. So thank you to all of the Front Office Members, Writers, Podcasters, and League Team Members! I am also very thankful for my friends. They have helped me through some tough times throughout the last year and I do not know where I would be without them. The same can be said for my Father, Mother and Sister. They have been my rocks as I have struggled many times this year. Lastly I am thankful to God and his son, while it sounds cheesy I know they have been with me every step of the way. From Our Haus to Yours, thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!

Terrance Singleton- Social Media Director: I am thankful for the life God has given me. Every time the holiday season comes around I think about how easily I couldn’t be here. My grandfather died on November 19, 2010 right before Thanksgiving. And I was in a pretty bad car accident on December 27, 2012 that broke my neck and cut my scalp open. So every time the holiday season rolls around I always think about how precious life, family, friends, and faith are important in my life and everyone’s life. So on this Thanksgiving when you are watching NFL football games and eating food until you can’t move, tell your loved ones how much you love them because tomorrow is not promised.

Dylan Streibig- NFL Writer: Whether we realize it or not, we all have a lot to be thankful for.  I am no exception this Thanksgiving or any other year. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a family that loves me. I am grateful for the fantastic sporting events that go on all around the world. They provide me a momentary escape from my life with a physical disability. I am also thankful for my dog and the fact that I am now a published sports writer thanks to The Game Haus. Most of all, I am thankful for the loyalty of my close friends who do not give up on me, even when I give up on myself.

Matthew Hagan- Columnist: I’m thankful for the opportunity The Game Haus has presented me with. Writing about my favorite sport, football, and offering me a column has been one of the best things in my life. I am thankful to have parents, family and friends support while trying to get a degree in college. My mom has been the biggest reason I have made it this far and I am so thankful that I get to fly back to Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with her. I am also thankful I got to see the Cubs win a World Series and attend the victory parade in Chicago. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had in this amazing country. I am proud to be an American and this Thanksgiving is going to be one of the best ever. Thank you to everyone who reads my articles, weather you agree or disagree with them. I want to wish anyone who reads this, and anyone who may not, a safe, fun and amazing Thanksgiving.

Alex Keller- Recruitment and Retention: What am I thankful for? Where can I even begin… I guess it would have to be with my family and friends. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if not for their love and support. But it’s so much more than that… the opportunity to even attend an institution like Georgia Tech, let alone graduate from it is an experience I’m incredibly thankful for. And of course, I have to thank everyone who’s been a part of making my experience with TGH so awesome. So, from our haus to yours, have a Happy Game Haus Thanksgiving everybody.

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