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Overwatch League Stage 2: New meta, new roles

Overwatch League

New patches and updates hit the Overwatch League with the start of Stage two. With these changes, a new meta and new approach to maps were expected. This was also due to the fact that new maps were entering the rotation for stage two. What fans and teams have gotten with this new meta however is a scramble to adapt. Many players are seeing their usage change, and some are changing completely.

Kariv Surprises as DPS while Silkthread benched

Overwatch League
Source: EsportsHeaven

The first day of stage two did not play into the Los Angeles Valiant’s favor, as they got steamrolled 4-0 by Seoul. Kariv and Silkthread sat on the sidelines as Verbo and Agilities struggled to adapt to the new meta. The coaching staff did not opt for any swaps however, and both players struggled through all four maps. Day four of stage two came around and Valiant’s starting line-up was Unkoe, Verbo, Kariv, Fate, Envy, and Soon. There was no way that Valiant was running three supports, and in fact Kariv was running DPS for Hanamura against Shanghai. No Agilities, no Silkthread, no Grimreality. Kariv actually played mostly Soldier 76 on the map, a hitscan hero that Silkthread and Grimreality specialize in. Reports are that by playing Kariv, the Valliant have an excellent Widowmaker on standby, and that Silkthread and Grimreality are not great on the sniper.

The match ended in a draw and Agilities drew in for Kariv on the next map. Agilities looked much better than day one, and the Valiant won the map. After half-time however, Kariv was back in for King’s Row. To his credit he played a formidable third tank to compliment Fate and Envy. Kariv has looked comfortable and able in the DPS role, but one has to wonder why Silkthread hasn’t seen any time lately, or that Grimreality hasn’t drawn in to any maps so far. Stage two seems to be shaping up to have Kariv and Agilities swapping in and out as the map calls for it.

Rascal snags DPS role, Seagull preparing Tank play

Overwatch League
Source: Blizzard and Twingalaxies

When the Dallas Fuel acquired Rascal, they became loaded with offensive potential. Seagull was already playing in a limited role, with main DPS roles falling to Effect and aKm. However during the first two games of stage two, Seagull did not see any playing time. Rascal, however, did see some playing time. With the changes coming to Dallas, which included xQc joining the line-up after his stage one suspenion, Seagull looked to be out. When Seagull was asked about his lack of playing time, he admitted that he didn’t join the team to be a starter or see much playing time. Not only this, but Seagull stated that at this time he was working on learning D.Va. It may be a while until we see Seagull enter in for a map, but rest assured that he is hard at work to improve himself.

As a side note, both Rascal and xQc looked good for the Fuel, leading them to two wins. These were 3-1 over Shanghai and 3-1 over the Los Angeles Gladiators. Dallas has looked much more comfortable with the change in meta and added personnel on the roster.

Shadowburn on the sidelines as EQO dominates

The Philadelphia Fusion signed EQO after they were disappointed with their stage one results. He was brought in to shore up a position to support Carpe’s excellent play over stage one. Shadowburn was the victim of an excellent signing. EQO played in every map for the Fusion, and helped lead them to two 4-0 sweeps during the first week. EQO looked absolutely dominant in his first week with the Fusion. With EQO in the line-up, the Fusion look to keep pushing and contending for a spot higher in the standings. Unfortunately for Shadowburn, he might not play a large role in that surge. Carpe is a fixture, thanks to his versatility and incredible skill with Widowmaker. EQO showed no glaring weakness, and until the team or he falters, Shadowburn will have to wait his turn. The Fusion used the break between stages to get better, and it was clear they were from the first match.

With so many players being forced to learn new roles to deal with the changing meta, we may yet see more changes. With the possible release of hero 27 (Brigette anyone?), the meta might continue to shift and change. If it does, it’s great for the league to grow as the strategies will have to keep changing. It will really bring out the best in coaches and players to see what they come up with to tackle the updates in Stage three.

 

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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul and Blizzard Entertainment

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