Player Spotlight: Babybay

Courtesy of Babybay

Overwatch League Player Spotlight: Babybay

Every week here at The Game Haus we will be highlighting one player from the Overwatch League. This weeks player is Babybay of the San Francisco Shock.

Andrej “Babybay” Francisty is the main DPS/Flex player for the Shock. He is part of a very strong roster of talented players but Babybay manages to separate himself from his peers. He was one of the biggest stand outs from this years preseason where his Widowmaker play was simply something to behold.

Another reason he is able to separate himself is that he is American. Americans aren’t known for our Esports prowess. Babybay is more well known for his Genji, Mcree, and Soldier 76 which was part of the reason his Widow stood out to so many people. After the matches during the preseason he was interviewed and seemed to relish in the crowds cheering.

History of Babybay

The last time Babybay played in a LAN competition was the Overwatch Winter Premiere back in January of last year. That isn’t to say he hasn’t been competing for longer than that. His history in Esports runs fairly deep. The last team he was a part of was Kungarna. He was part of their roster on two separate occasions.

The Shock have two more players joining their roster later this season as they are ineligible to play due to the Overwatch League age requirement. Babybay and the Shock will look to keep up the high level play as they not only fight for the Overwatch League title but fight for California supremacy as they are joined in California by the two Los Angeles teams, the Valiant and the Gladiators.

Are you a Shock fan? How do you feel Babybay has started off the season? Let us know and be sure to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel! Links down below and as always stayed tuned to The Game Haus for all your Overwatch League news!

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Overwatch League’s Uprising may cause some upsizing

Big numbers in Day two of the Overwatch League. Big numbers coming out of cities hosting watch parties 

Boston Uprising watch party at The Greatest Bar.

Upsizing not Uprising

This is a picture taken last Thursday at the Boston Uprising watch party held at The Greatest Bar (clever name, not my opinion.) inside the TD Garden where the Celtics and Bruins play. Over 125 people crammed into the two floors of a Boston sports bar.

Now I don’t know if any of you have been to Boston sports bars, I’m sure some of you have. This is the last thing anyone expected. Especially The Greatest Bar. Boston Uprising hosted the event and also had people there giving out free merch to fire up the crowds. To see people cramming themselves into a bar to watch video games gives me immense hope for this sport. For this league. For the next generation of geeks.

Watch parties like this have been held all over the country for the Overwatch League. San Francisco hosted one and had Sinatraa and Super, players who are currently ineligiable to play, there to meet and take pictures. Around 100 people showed up to watch that one.

Picture of Houston Outlaws watch party.

Houston, from all the pictures Posted around the internet had what appears to be the biggest watch party of them all. Over 600 people came out in support of the Houston Outlaws! That’s insane!

Some fans even drove across the country to the Blizzard Arena to watch their favorite teams complete.

These two guys drove 2,700 miles to watch the NYXL. Viewership on Twitch yesterday peaked at just about 250,000. I know it’s still early. I know it’s the “cupcake phase” or however you want to say it. It’s still new and exciting but even people who aren’t fans of Esports have to at least admit this is impressive.

Did you attend/throw any watch parties for your favorite team? Let us know! Also be sure to follow The Game Haus on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel! Links are down below!

Credit to The Esports Writer.

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Why Overwatch League Matters

How Blizzard can change the Esports scene in North America

Courtesy of Blizzard Ent.

 

I feel as though I’ve had to explain to multiple friends and family members what exactly Esports is. I have several friends who understand the basic concept of it but don’t understand how fun and entertaining it is. This is where the Overwatch League steps in.

After being announced over a year ago, January 10th was opening night. Twitch viewership peaked at just over 400,000. 400,000 people tuned in to watch a video game competition. In the grand scheme of things people gather to watch this number is relatively small, but also very big. Let me explain why Overwatch League matters.

Why does it matter?

The United States is known for a mulititude of things but Esports prowess is not one of them. In Korea they’ve been showing Esports on television since the days of Starcraft Brood War. TBS signed a deal with ESL to broadcast CS:GO on their station and I made sure I tuned in.

On January 9th Blizzard Entertainment held their first ever media day for the OWL and announced that they signed a deal with Twitch for a two year broadcasting agreement. It’s been reported but not confirmed that Twitch spent in the area of 90 million dollars to obtain exclusive broadcasting rights.

If you’re like me you tuned in to the games opening night and saw one of the best Overwatch matches I’ve ever seen played between the Dallas Fuel and the Seoul Dynasty. Seoul ended up winning the match but it was as close as they could be. Nearly to half a million people watched that game. It’s very early into the first year for OWL but from what I’ve seen online they’re living up to expectations. They loaded the booths with experts on the broadcast team. The analysts, shout casters, and production teams are insanely talented and above all engaging.

So why does any of this matter? Personally I think that it matters because this is giving the kids who were picked on for being a “nerd” or what have you a safe place to gather. The word nerd has lost its sting and gamer culture has become celebrated and cool thanks to sites like Twitch. Streaming has exploded over the past years resulting in communities of kids and now adults having a place to embrace our passion, gaming. The average age of an Esports fan in the US is 28 years old. Right on the nose for me and my friends.

Overwatch League can bring people together

Another reason OWL is important is it gives kids and parents something to bond over. Several of my friends have kids of their own and are always looking for a way to connect with them. This offers them that opportunity as well as a way to see if their passion will grow into something more than just a fan. Overwatch League is important because it’s helping to legitimize Esports as a whole throughout more of North America. If you told me 5 years ago that Robert Kraft was going to own an Esports franchise I would looked at you upside down.

I haven’t been covering Esports actively very long in the grand scheme of Esports itself but even in the “short” amount of time I’ve been around, the scene has flourished. There are major companies/sports franchises buying teams for video game competitions! Is this a business move? Yeah, probably. But even so it helps to legitimize this crazy thing we call Esports. While we’re only a couple days into season one of Overwatch League look for it to continue to do well and if things go the way they’re projected to, expand exponentially.

What do you think of the Overwatch League so far? Do you think it’s going to sustain viewership or will it die it over the season? Let us know and be sure to stay tuned to The Game Haus for more Esports news!

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North America Overwatch Contenders preview

These are exciting, albeit uncertain, times in the Overwatch esports scene. Overwatch League has been announced, the World Cup is underway and Contenders Season 1 is kicking off in a week. This upcoming weekend will have the OWWC take place in Santa Monica and then on the 14th of August Overwatch Contenders will begin. The teams were decided through Contenders Season 0, and two teams were invited.

In a strange turn of events, Team Liquid dropped their roster due to three of their players moving onto (or going back) to other games. This is an interesting wrinkle in the upcoming tournament as the spot needs to be filled within a week. But how does Blizzard resolve this issue? Do they sell the slot to another team or do they give it to a runner-up?

There is no confirmed news regarding what Blizzard chooses to do with this free slot. However, it would be consistent with Blizzard if they were to sell it to the highest bidder. Realistically, there are only three teams that could afford that slot: Cloud9, NRG and CLG. NRG doesn’t even have a full roster so it is unlikely that they would be able to take the spot. Cloud9 is only missing one tank since Kaiser went back to RunAway due to “visa issues”. CLG has a six man roster that they could compete with. Technically, Cloud9 also has a six man roster but Mendo is not a tank player so they wouldn’t be able to play with tanks.

Speculation about that slot aside, this promises to be a highly competitive Contenders Season. Two months ago, there were a couple of teams that dominated the rest, but the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams has been closing rapidly.

Let’s have a look Contenders Season 1 North America and make some predictions.

The teams

EnVyUs (invite)
Faze Clan
FNRGFE
Immortals
Kungarna
Renegades
Rogue (invite)
Replacement for Team Liquid

Overwatch Contenders

EnVyUs

  • Taimou
  • Mickie
  • Chipshajen
  • HarryHook
  • Cocco
  • Effect

One of the teams that got invited to compete in Season 1. EnVyUs and Rogue were both in Korea for Apex Season 3 where EnVyUs lost to KongDoo Panthera. This isn’t a bash on nV. The fact that they made it so far is a testament to how strong this team is.

However, I do have one reservation. How good are they against Western teams? There is a difference in play style between the West and East. And while the best in the East are unequivocally better than the best in the West, the different play style could hurt nV.

However, they are still a top team and considered one of the favorites for winning the whole event. They have one of the best Ana’s in the world in Chips and one of the best DPS in the world in Taimou. On top of this, they have Effect who tore up in Apex, carrying the team at some points. It will be exciting watching Effect use his Tracer in the West. Here’s hoping for a Soon vs Effect matchup.

Sadly, we can’t do proper predictions because the groups haven’t been made and we don’t know who they will be playing against. But, I would be shocked if they didn’t get a top three finish.

FaZe Clan

  • ShaDowBurn
  • Lui
  • FCTFCTN
  • SPREE
  • Rawkus
  • Joemeister

FaZe Clan is one of the more interesting teams in this competition. They have the parts in place to have a stunning DPS but lack a core backline and tanks. You can have as many star DPS as you want, but if they don’t have space to work with then you will lose. Always.

This happened with Cloud9 a while ago. They had Mendo, Gods, and Surefour. Three players who play DPS but they weren’t able to perform. Gods wasn’t actually a bad tank, but he preferred playing DPS and so he had to learn Winston.

This is sort of the same situation faced by Faze. The Clan lacks a strong supporting unit. But if ShaDowBurn can pop off and deliver insane Genji play on low ping, like he did at the World Cup, then Faze could make it out of groups.

Overwatch Contenders

FNRGFE

The All American Rejects. Except for one Canadian, this is an All American team that was formed from the pieces of other teams. This is true of a lot of teams, but these guys decided to make it a part of their personality. Their name FNRGFE is an acronym of the teams that they came from including NRG and FaZe.

  • buds
  • clockwork
  • Muma
  • coolmatt69
  • Boink
  • Bani

If this team takes the tournament seriously then they may make it out of groups, but even that would be a surprise.

Overwatch Contenders

Immortals

  • GrimReality
  • Agilities
  • Fate
  • hyped
  • envy
  • KariV
  • Verbo

This is one of the strongest teams in the West right now. Anything less than top two will be a disappointment. Immortals has two of the best DPS combined with a solid support and tank line. Their kryptonite may turn out to be communication as they have three Koreans and four North Americans. If the Koreans have put in more effort to learn better English than this team could take first.

Agilities is one of the best Genji’s in the world, he went toe to toe with ShaDowBurn at World Cup. During the match against the Netherlands, he had one of the most insane Genji plays that I have ever seen. Back this up with KariV who is a great support and some solid tanking who can give Grim and Agilities the space that they need and you have a scary team. At the BEAT Invitational last month they took Rogue to within two fights. The score was 3:1 but it doesn’t reflect how close that match actually was.

They did better against Rogue than EnVyUs did.

Overwatch Contenders

Kungarna

  • mYkL
  • babybay
  • iReMix
  • Bischu
  • Dogman
  • Pookz

Kungarna barely qualified for Contenders, beating out Cloud9 with an Overtime BO3 on Oasis. I don’t think that they have the firepower to make it out groups. They don’t have any superstars and their basic gameplay isn’t that strong.

If they have taken their time off to practice and grind then they could surprise some teams, but I don’t think that they will be able to go deep into the tournament.

Overwatch Contenders

5-Hour Energy Detroit Renegades

  • Mangachu
  • J3sus
  • PrimoDulce
  • ZachaREEE
  • Sherlockey
  • Jer

Renegades managed to surprise a lot of teams during season 0 of Contenders. Tying Kungarna and beating Cloud9 3-1 was a huge surprise to many people, including me. They qualified first in their group and looked solid doing it. Then seeing Mangachu represent Canada at the OWWC gave me some hope that they may make it out of groups if they got lucky. He is a solid player and a great Pharah. But I don’t think that they have enough players with a good enough base level to qualify out of groups.

Look at them to get a win or a tie but not quite make it out of groups.

Overwatch Contenders

Rogue

  • soOn
  • uNKOE
  • aKm
  • KnoxXx
  • winz
  • NiCOgdh

The French all star team, their World Cup team and one of the best, if not the best, teams in the West. They have dominated during the dive meta and looked unstoppable. Until Korea. Then they didn’t make it out of groups as the Koreans managed to out think them.

However, it doesn’t look like there are any teams in the West except for maybe nV and Immortals that can beat them. Look to them to take first place.

SoOn is a Tracer god and aKm is top three Soldier in the world. Back both of these up with a Korea level Winston in KnoxXx and a top three Zenyatta in uNKOE and you get an unstoppable force.

But they aren’t unbeatable. As I said in another article, they have a weakness. A glaring weakness, in fact. They lack depth. If you can find a way to neutralise dive, you neutralise a lot of Rogues threat. Rogue will always compete for a top five finish, but if you can shut down dive, then you can shut down the biggest reason Rogue is dangerous.

Easier said than done.

Formerly Team Liquid

Team Liquid qualified for Contenders Season 1 but AZK has decided to go back to CS:GO and two of their other players are switching to Quake which means that they will not be able to compete in Season 1. I can’t make any predictions on where they will end up because we don’t know who is going to replace them.

I hope Cloud9, but we will see. They do seem to be the most logical choice, or ARC6, which would also be a lot of fun.

Conclusion

I think Rogue will take first place in a close match against Immortals with nV coming fourth and FaZe coming third. But FaZe and Renegades could easily switch.

The way Blizzard has done this has been really good. Most of the teams are very closely matched in skill and it is hard to pick the best. Except for the top three which are Immortals, nV, and Rogue. Without a doubt.

That doesn’t matter Overwatch Contenders will be a lot of fun to watch and I am glad that we now have Apex and Contenders at the same time.


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Overwatch League should allow hero bans

Overwatch should allow hero bans in the OWL. I know this is controversial and I am not 100% convinced of it myself, but the pros outweigh the cons. This is the most effective way of reducing one trick heroes and giving the game another strategic element, raising the skill level and allowing teams to innovate more.

However, they need to wait until the release of at least two more heroes and then, and only then, they should allow one hero ban per map. Not per stage.

This would give them time to get every important role filled with at least one replacement. There are however cons, but I firmly believe that in a couple of months the pros will outweigh the cons. An argument could be made for implementing this now. Yet, Blizzard should wait until season two of Contenders.

Waiting until they filled some more roles would help alleviate role banning. First, we need another speed hero before we can ban heroes. Lucio is the only hero that doesn’t have a contemporary.

Pros

Strategies

Every esport has several aspects that facilitate strategic thinking, separating the great from the merely good. Teams can use strategic thinking to separate themselves from the herd; both in other esports and Ovewatch. In Season 2 of OGN Apex you had two teams use strategies to advance themselves farther than anyone thought possible. MetaAthena used the wackiest, and some of the smartest, set plays to overwhelm otherwise superior opponents. On the other hand, you had RunAway using other more fluid strategies to propel themselves to the final of OGN Apex where they pushed Lunatic-Hai to the brink.

Photo: Robert Paul

 

However, this is not typical of Overwatch. Throughout Overwatch, there has typically been one dominate strategy, or meta, that nearly every team has run. And the team that plays that specific meta will win everything. In the western scene’s case at this moment, this is Rogue. They were strong before dive comp and now they are dominating the scene, but that gap is closing. Slowly.

The gap is closing only because other teams are learning how to play dive. But, what if you could ban Soon’s Tracer? You just handicapped Rogue and forced them to pull out one of the other strategies that they are always mentioning. This would force teams to innovate and come up with strategies while allowing the meta to be more open and broad.

Teams would be forced to come up with counter strategies for other teams and specific maps. You could ban out Ryujehong’s Ana or ban AKM’s Soldier. There are enough other heroes that fill those roles to allow you to still-hit scan or to get heals or even main tank.

Eliminating one tricks

 

While I love seeing players play their best hero and seeing the level of skill that these players bring to the game, I hate to see players get away with playing only one hero. It drives the meta issue and doesn’t facilitate innovation. Which is one of the reasons that we are stuck with a meta for several months.

Players who can play multiple heroes at that high level should be more praised than someone who can play only one hero. Albeit at a slightly higher level.

There aren’t many players who can play 5 or more heroes at a high level. Only a few such as Flow3r, Surefour, and Tviq can do this. We haven’t even seen Soon play that many heroes in a professional setting. Let alone be good at them. This is not to diminish the skill level of Soon, he is incredibly good at what he does. But, variety is the spice of life.There are almost no players with this natural skill and they deserve to be highlighted and depth of roster to be rewarded.

Forcing these players on to other heroes would mix up the strategies and force innovation. Because it is hard to push players to innovate when they are winning everything. Nor should we. The losers need a little more chance to innovate and come up with new ideas.

This is a better method of getting them to do this than adding and balancing heroes. Because if you constantly update heroes you get what LoL has. The team that can adapt to the new meta fastest wins.

The winning team should do so through superior skill and strategy; not whoever runs the current meta the best.

Another solution to the innovation problem is releasing heroes. Blizzard doesn’t seem likely to increase the hero release rate too much and we don’t want them releasing poorly designed and made heroes.

Allowing hero bans is the easiest, most fluid solution.

Cons

Not seeing the best possible players

Hero bans

In my mind this is the only con. We wouldn’t get to see top players playing their best heroes as often. We wouldn’t get to see WhoRu destroying teams with Genji because teams would ban him out. Nor would we get to see a lot of Soon on Tracer. This is my biggest issue with a banning system. However, the pros of forcing these players to learn other heroes outweigh this con. Forcing players to learn other heroes improves the professional scene as a whole.

I would miss seeing some of these players pop off on their favourite hero,  but at the end of the day this isn’t even that big of a con. The meta will determine what needs to be banned out and what doesn’t; so having such a star player playing on a sub optimal might be better than having him play a slightly worse on a slightly better hero.

At the beginning of this system, each team would be allowed to ban out one hero. A total of two heroes would be banned and neither team would be allowed to use said team. I could see a problem when both teams ban out Orisa and Reinhardt, or something similar. Then you aren’t battling with any anchor tanks and forced to play dive. As soon as there are more heroes, this won’t be a problem anymore.

This is a risk that needs to be taken as the pros outweigh the cons. The potential for more strategies and the reduction of one tricks would be awesome and nearly immediate.


Tracer: A guide to getting out of gold

Tracer is one of Overwatch’s more difficult heroes to pick up and instantly learn. She can be very disruptive and one of the most hard-carry heroes in the game, which is ideal for the lower ranks of competitive play where you can only rely on yourself to win games.

At the higher levels, teamwork becomes a bigger issue, but it is possible to hard-carry out of the lower ranks.

While writing this guide, I am going to assume that you have a basic understanding of Tracer’s abilities. This will be discussing strategies, how to pick targets, and, when & how to engage. If you don’t have a basic understanding of Tracer then watch this video and try her out in quick play.

What Tracer is best used for

Tracer isn’t supposed to initiate engages, but she is best used as an opportunist hero. The moment a hero gets slightly low in health, then Tracer should be there to finish them off. That’s her job. She isn’t there to create space or to get solo kills.

There are two ways to play Tracer: aggressive or passive. She is most effective played aggressively, but it depends on how much space she has to work with. If your tanks are able to split the enemy team up a bit then you should go aggressive. But if you don’t have that space, then you need to play much more with your Recall and leave your tank line in three-second intervals so you can recall to safety, poking and looking for a low health target to pick off.

When to engage and when not to engage

Tracer

Tracer is one of those heroes where positioning isn’t the most important part of being good with her. Her movement is the single most important aspect. But what separates a good Tracer from a great Tracer is knowing when to engage and who to engage.

Looking at this photo, this Tracer should go for the Genji. Normally, in almost every situation, you want to go for the Mercy. But the Genji is dragon striking so right now he is the biggest threat. If he wasn’t ulting, then Tracer would be gunning for the Mercy.

When looking at an enemy team you are going to be looking for mistakes. Specifically, mistakes in positioning. Tracer acts a lot like a teacher, there to punish mistakes and help the other team learn.

Look for anyone who is too far from their team or is low health. Then blink towards them and eliminate them. Ideally, you should be able to one-clip a full health Mercy or Ana. Working on your aim will help you finish off targets before they can respond to you.

When engaging an enemy, you need to keep in mind how long you have been away from safety. Keep it short. Never for more than three seconds, otherwise, your recall will not help you get to safety.

You should blink into the enemy team, do as much damage as possible, then recall out. You want your recall to bring you back amongst your team, or wherever you started your dive. And that’s exactly how you want to play Tracer: Blink in, Recall out.

Strategies

Tracer

Tracer doesn’t require the best game sense, nor does she need the best positioning. If you are more mechanically gifted, then Tracer is a great hero. That being said, there are strategies that every Tracer should know and utilize. The most obvious is knowing the paths and maps. You cannot effectively play Tracer without knowing every single map.

There is only one way to get better at this. Play, play and then play some more. The more you play the more you will get to know the maps. Knowing the maps matters so you can do backward blinks and move around without having to look where you are going. You should never go backward and get stuck somewhere.

Pulse bombing effectively is important too. First off, when throwing a Pulse Bomb, always aim at the feet. This makes the pulse bomb reach its target faster because of its trajectory, allowing your aim to be a bit better with the bomb. Another way to land more Pulse Bombs is to target large heroes. And this isn’t artificially padding your accuracy since Pulse Bomb + a 1 clip will kill nearly every single hero in the game.

But ideally, you want to kill the supports. Every Tracer’s focus should be on the supports and then the DPS. Ignore the tanks, unless they have a game changing ultimate.

Sometimes you have a room full of bad guys that need to die and then you don’t really have to aim. In that case, just toss and run.

How to pick targets

Tracer

Tracers main strength comes from killing the right target at the right time. Like most DPS’, what separates a good Tracer from a great Tracer is target selection.

As a rule of thumb, you kill supports. Sadly, it isn’t as simple as that.

You have to think about other things such as who has ultimates and who is the biggest threat to your team. Deciding who is the biggest threat can be difficult. You have to have a lot of information on them, and some of this comes down to game sense.

If Mercy has Rez, then you should be gunning for her, otherwise, you have to win the fight twice. But if Zen has his ultimate, then you might want to go for him instead to prevent the Transcendence ultimate.

Watching the pros play Overwatch is the best way to get better at this. Pay attention to who they target and why; understanding why is the key part here. If you don’t understand WHY someone is doing something then you won’t know when to not do it. There are certain situations that you shouldn’t be doing something you saw a pro do. Because they had different information at the time (and because everyone makes mistakes).

 

Tracer is a hard carry hero. Learning to pick targets is the best way to get out of gold (or lower). But you also need to work on your aim. If you don’t find your aim improving then you may want to focus on another hero. Consider Dva or Winston. Someone whose positioning and cooldown management are the most important aspects of their play.

Heroes like Tracer take a small amount of mechanical skill, but mostly movement skill. Understanding and timing your cool downs will make a big difference.

Remember, put your mouse on their head and click.


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Overwatch World cup

Overwatch World Cup: The group stage is underway

The Overwatch World Cup kicked off today in Shanghai with the beginning of the group stage offering few surprises.

Overwatch World Cup: France and China 4-0

Clear favorites going in, Team China and France ended the day 4-0 and leaders of their groups. China played against Romania in the opening series and was in complete control. They only conceded the first points on Hollywood and Horizon Lunar Colony to Romania.

Overwatch World cup

Ou “Eileen” Yiliang

Noteworthy about this series was the Genji play of Ou “Eileen” Yiliang. The Romanians could not find a way to stop him from destroying their backline. Then again, the Romanians couldn’t find a way to stop any of China’s players from jumping into their backlines. China’s target focusing was awesome to watch with how they would collapse on a single target like a pack of wolves. Eileen’s Genji was a wolf whose fangs were sharpest today.

While China rolled their opponents Team France struggled against Team Argentina. This was mainly due to the Tracer play of Argentina’s Nicolas “Klaus” Ferrari. Klaus was a constant presence in the French backline, getting frags off their supports. Klaus was even able to hold his own, and sometimes beat, Terence “So0n” Tarlier, one of the best Tracer players in the tournament, in 1v1 duels.

Unfortunately for Klaus and Argentina his small victories against So0n and the supports were not enough to beat France. Argentina as a whole wasn’t able to overcome the combined might of Dylan “aKm” Bignet and Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret’s play on Soldier 76, D.Va and Genji.

Yet, even though Argentina come away from this series pointless, they have shown teams that Argentina is not to be taken lightly. Just like Team Thailand did in their showing against Denmark.

Overwatch world cup: Thailand comes back

Team Thailand also played today against Team Denmark and their match was a close one.

Thailand went down 0-2 early to Denmark due to the stellar play of Mads “Fischer” Jehg on Soldier 76.

Overwatch World cup

Mads “Fischer” Jehg

Denmark as a whole did a fantastic job of shutting down early Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod’s D.Va. Whenever Mickie would dive in on Fischer team Denmark would immediately collapse on him and take him out. In fact, the strategy for Denmark throughout the first two maps, King’s Row and Lijiang Tower, centered around protecting Fischer so that he could act as their hyper carry.

This trend continued until the second attacking phase on Horizon when Thailand finally had enough of Fischer on the high ground and sent Mickie as D.Va and “Teetawatv3” as Winston to focus him. It was this move in addition to a Sombra switch by Ubon “oPuTo” Dara that won Thailand the last two games of the series.

oPuTo’s switch to Sombra from Genji on Horizon helped Thailand win that map and the following one because Sombra’s EMP is powerful. Denmark couldn’t find a way of stopping oPuTo from building his ultimate or stopping him from ulting their whole team.

Because of the effectiveness of Sombra’s ultimate and how easy it is to charge we expect to see her picked more often as the tournament progresses. We especially expect to see oPuTo on Sombra in their match tomorrow against France.

Overwatch World cup: Thailand v.s. France

Thailand’s next opponent is France and it should prove to be a close match. Thailand showed in their match that even down 0-2 that they’ve got the grit needed to battle back. While France showed in their match against Argentina that they can be challenged. We believe that if Thailand is to beat France tomorrow oPuTo has to have a big game as Sombra.

 

Day two of the Overwatch World Cup can be watched live on Twitch.


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Doomfist Overwatch reveal

Doomfist Overwatch reveal: The hype train has pulled in

After many months the hype train for Doomfist has finally pulled into the station with his reveal this past Thursday. But some fans will surely be disappointed by this Doomfist Overwatch reveal because Terry Crews is not voicing the character.

Doomfist Overwatch reveal: Sarh Ngaujah

The person voicing Doomfist is veteran actor and theatre director Sarh Ngaujah. Ngaujah has appeared in films such as Stomp the Yard (2007) and Money Monster (2016) as well as spending time on Broadway. Now he can add on being the voice of Doomfist to his resume.

Ngaujah doesn’t offer the high energy and comedic stylings of Terry Crews. Instead, he offers a more serious approach to the character. And there were no hard feelings from Crews.

“I will always love Overwatch and everyone at Blizzard,” Crews tweeted Thursday. “Doomfist is incredible and I’m happy to have had all the fans consideration.”

Although Crews isn’t voicing Doomfist, with his talent there’s a chance he might appear in Overwatch as another hero.

In addition to the Origin story for the Nigerian anti-hero Blizzard also released a developer update for the new character.

Doomfist Overwatch reveal: Jeff Kaplan talks Doomfist

In the developer update, Jeff Kaplan gives Doomfist’s backstory as well as breaking down his abilities.

What we learned from Kaplan is that Doomfist is an offensive hero who’s abilities center around his gauntlet. He uses abilities like Rocket Punch, Rising Uppercut and Seismic Slam to punch enemies into walls, up into the sky and down into the ground. These abilities make him a front line brawler, which isn’t always the best role for squishy offense heroes.

But never fear, for Blizzard has given Doomfist a passive called The Best Defense. This passive generates a barrier for Doomfist for every enemy he hits with his abilities. This also includes his ultimate: Meteor Strike. When using Meteor Strike, Doomfist leaps into the sky and crashes down dealing AOE damage and stunning his targets.

Although Doomfist’s play style is tied to his gauntlet it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have ranged options. The Overwatch team has given Doomfist the Hand Cannon, a shotgun weapon attached to his knuckles. The shotgun has four shots and has regenerating ammo.

We don’t know yet how Doomfist will fit in the current dive meta. But watching streams of players like Brandon “Seagull” Larned leads us to believe that he will be a diver, not an anti-diver. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Doomfist is currently available to play on the PTR.


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Zarya Guide

Zarya guide: How to use bubble power

Zarya is one of the six tanks in Overwatch and is considered the most difficult to play. Yet, when played well she is the most rewarding. This is due to the power of her barriers, which most people refer to as bubbles. The aim of today’s Zarya guide is to aid you in how to maximize the use of her barriers.

But first, let’s understand why it’s important to use her barriers effectively.

Zarya Guide: Why barriers are important

Zarya’s barriers are important for two reasons.

First, they are how Zarya protects herself and her team. And second, they are how Zarya builds up energy with her passive ability.

Passive Ability: Energy

Zarya’s passive ability is Energy. What it does is that for every five points of damage that Zarya’s barriers absorb Zarya gains +1% damage. This increased damage buff is capped at 100%. Which means that the more damage Zarya’s barriers soak up the more dangerous she becomes.

And Zarya can be a one-woman wrecking crew when she is fully charged.

The difficulty lies in charging that energy and maintaining it because every second she loses two points of her charge and the barriers she charges with have long cooldowns. In addition, those barriers have short durations. Let’s look at the barriers in question.

Zarya’s bubbles: One for me, one for you

Zarya has two barriers she uses, one that she uses for herself and the other for allies. Each barrier has 200 health and lasts for a whopping total of two seconds. The only difference between the barriers is that the one for allies has a two second shorter cooldown. Which means that Zarya can protect her teammates, and build charge off of them, more often.

Yet, with only a two-second duration for each barrier, it means that Zarya’s timing has to be spot on, which wasn’t always the case in the clip above.

Zarya guide: Timing is everything

Timing is everything when using your barriers to absorb damage. Too early and the enemy team will not shoot at them. Too late and the enemy team will have the chance to deal plenty of preventable damage to you and yours. So always keep in mind that timing matters when using your barriers.

The easiest way to build charge with your barriers is to wait until the damage is coming. Waiting until the enemy is shooting at you gives them little time to stop shooting you, which builds you charge. Another thing to keep in mind is that Zarya’s barriers are not limited to blocking 200 points of damage.

In fact, Zarya’s barriers can block all of D.Va’s, Junkrat’s and Tracer’s ultimates if timed correctly. Zarya’s barriers can do this because those ultimates are single bursts of damage. Her barriers also stop teammates from being killed by Reinhardt’s pin and negates the knockdown from Earthshatter.

That is it for Zarya. Hopefully this guide helps you improve with Zarya’s bubble power. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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2/2/2 meta

2/2/2 meta breakdown: Overwatch PB&J

Most who play Overwatch know about the 2/2/2 meta. If not, the 2/2/2 meta is a team composition that consists of two tanks, two DPS and two supports. Simple, right? Not really.

Actually, it is much more complex due to the fact that the 2/2/2 meta relies on team synergy. But what is team synergy?

Team Synergy: The PB&J Effect

Team synergy is like a PB&J sandwich: multiple parts coming together to make a delicious whole. Which is what happens with a good 2/2/2 comp. A good 2/2/2 comp will always factor in how the parts come together as a whole.

2/2/2 meta

An example of a 2/2/2 meta comp

An example of a good 2/2/2 comp is Reinhardt, Zarya, Soldier 76, Genji, Mercy and Zenyatta. This comp is good for multiple reasons. First, let’s look at the tanks.

Tanks: The Bread

2/2/2 meta

Reinhardt and Zarya.

The tanks serve as the bread to the 2/2/2 meta sandwich.

Reinhardt is the main tank for this 2/2/2. His main job is to soak up damage for his team with his shield. His shield provides Soldier 76 mobile cover to shoot from and his ultimate makes them sitting ducks for Tac-Visor. Next up is the secondary tank, Zarya.

Zarya is the enforcer for this 2/2/2. Her job is to protect with her barriers and punish with her beam. Her barriers protect her teammates while simultaneously building up her beam damage. Also, Zarya’s barrier complements a flanking Genji because of the added protection. Most of all her Graviton mixes well with Genji’s Dragonblade and Reinhardt’s hammer swings.

Moving on to the peanut butter of the 2/2/2: the DPS.

DPS: The Peanut butter

There are two types of peanut butter one can have just like there are two types of DPS: creamy or chunky.

2/2/2 meta

Soldier and Genji

Soldier 76 is a creamy peanut butter due to his consistent damage output. His pulse rifle is good for taking down targets. Combine that with discords from Zenyatta and he is able to shred tanks quickly. Usually, people don’t mix peanut butter types but when it comes to DPS you need some chunky.

Genji is a chunky peanut butter because his damage is erratic. This is because he is a flanker, which you need to harass the enemy backline. Genji’s whole kit allows him to do that. Genji is able to quickly eliminate discorded supports and, as stated above, his ultimate combos extremely well with Zarya’s.

Finally, we come to the supports: Mercy and Zenyatta, the jelly of the sandwich.

Supports: the jelly

The jelly in any 2/2/2 meta sandwich is always the supports with their sweet healing and tart damage boosts.

2/2/2 meta

Mercy and Zenyatta

Mercy’s role in the 2/2/2 is the main healer who prioritizes healing the tanks, while also boosting her teammates kill potential with her damage beam. Her damage beam combined with Soldier’s ultimate or a fully charged Zarya is a scary thing to deal with. Throw in her resurrect and you have all the ingredients for one sweet healer.

But while Mercy is sweet, Zenyatta is tart. His discords leave a sour taste in his enemies mouths by upping the kill potential of his whole team. His harmony orb also makes him an ideal healer for Genji because of its range. And his ultimate soaks up enemy damage like bread.

All of these heroes working together make for one delicious combination because their talents complement each other. And the true beauty of the PB&J 2/2/2 meta is that it’s adaptable.

Enemy has a Winston killing Genji? Swap him for a Reaper. Have a Widowmaker taking pot shots at the healers? Switch Reinhardt for Winston and jump on her. Need speed? Replace Zenyatta for Lúcio.

Yet there is the possibility of creating a bad sandwich with the 2/2/2 meta.

2/2/2 meta: Bad sandwich

A bad sandwich made by the 2/2/2 meta would be something like Roadhog, Orisa, Hanzo, Widowmaker, Zenyatta and Symmetra. This comp is bad because you have two chunky DPS with ultimates that do not mesh well with their tanks. One support that doesn’t heal and the other cannot heal enough. In addition to a tank in Orisa that requires her DPS to stand behind her barrier, something that Hanzo and Widowmaker are wont to do.

2/2/2 meta

Bad sandwich example

 

This is not to say that you can’t win with this team. It would just be extremely difficult because the heroes have no synergy with one another. Always keep in mind that team synergy is key to a successful 2/2/2 meta just like with PB&J.


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