Going into the 2020 season, the map pool has been changed, now adding five new maps but also removing three maps. What are the changes and what does this mean for the teams? Down below is a list of the maps, some Overwatch lore of the maps, what the game modes are and what teams need to accomplish to win a match.
Control Map Pool
This map is based on Greece, the Aegean Sea to be precise and is part of the Mediterranean Sea. Ilios is a harbor town, a perfect vacation location to kick back and relax. At the top of the hills, there are ruins scattered around, for those who are adventurous enough to explore. The many artifacts found there made the ruins a protected heritage. However, Talon tried to steal them.
Busan was saved by MEKA (Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army) after it was under attack by the Gwishin omnics. All MEKA was left with were destroyed mechs. One week later the Gwishin attacked Busan again, with only D.Va to defend the city because her mech, after some damage repair, was good enough to defend the city. She managed to defeat them and save Busan.
Lijiang Tower is a map built in the modern China metropolis. It represents the city center complete with busy streets, night markets, restaurants and more. The Lijiang Tower is home to China’s best space industry-leading company, Lucheng Interstellar. It is an organization with a long history that is pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
Nepal has been build in the Himalayas by a group of like-minded omnics after what they described as their spiritual awakening. Here they gather to meditate together. Led by the spiritual leader, Tekhartha Mondatta, they took over the ruins and turned it into the home of the Shambali.
Oasis is a city rising from the Arabian desert and is one of the most advanced and developed cities in the world. Researchers and academics from around the area came together to create a city that would be dedicated to scientific progress without the humans being restrained.
While none of the control maps have been removed, Oasis and Nepal have been added to the map pool. This means every control map is available for teams to choose from. Making it so teams need to pay extra attention and training towards this map pool and its game mode.
Control is a map where two teams fight over points A and B in a best-of-three series. This means both of the teams are attacking but also defending the points, unlike other game modes. Once the match has started, the control point unlocks in 30 seconds. When it unlocks, the objective can be captured by either team. To capture the point, the players of just one team have to be on the point for a period of time, the capture speed goes faster the more players are on the point. Once captured, the team needs to try and keep the point, while the other team is trying to get the team off the point so they can capture it themselves.
The point can’t be captured if a member of the enemy team is also on the point. The round is won once one team reaches 100%.
Assault Map Pool
Hanamura is a map situated on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. It is is a modest village with shops, quiet streets and its wonderful cherry blossom festival every spring. The village is also home to the Shimada clan, over the years, centuries even the clan became a powerful criminal organization. As the cities around the quiet village expanded, Hanamura eventually became a part of it and now is a district within a bigger city.
Temple of Anubis
The Temple of Anubis is located on the outskirts of Cairo. It sits between the ancient ruins of the Giza Plateau. There are many excavation sites in the area, many think this is just one of them. While that is true it actually holds a hidden entrance to a research facility. It is rumored it hold artificial intelligence, the whole truth is known to a select view.
Horizon: Lunar Colony was built on the earth’s moon, as a new step towards the new exploration of space. It was Horizon Lunar Colony’s goal to examine the effects on humans and ape-like beings of protracted extraterrestrial habitation. The research was going well, that was until all contact was lost between earth and the base.
For the 2020 Season, the Overwatch League has removed Volskaya Industries, which has been part of the map pool since Stage 2 of the 2019 Season, from the list and added Horizon: Lunar Colony. While it got some negative reactions, it will be an easy pick for certain teams.
Assault is a game mode is where the attacking and defending teams are trying to take or defend points across the map. The defending team always has the same spawn point, it doesn’t matter if they defend point A or point B. The attacker’s spawn point changes as they move from point A to point B. Making it easier for the attacking team to push through and get to point B.
However, when the attacking team gets to point B, the defending team’s spawn point is closer, thus making it harder to push and capture it. This can cause some thrilling choke plays.
Escort Map Pool
Junkertown is a map located in the dangerous outskirts of the Shanty town in the desert of Australia. It is now the home to the lawless scavengers who call themselves the Junkers, the Queen is their leader. Their town is made out of scraps of a destroyed omnium, when they aren’t plundering the omnium they are blowing off steam in what they call the Scrapyard. Is it a ginormous arena where they hold fights and anyone who fights there goes is for the glory and loot if they can survive the battle.
Havana, the capital city of Cuba is the home of the Don Rumbotico distillery and the Havana Sea Fort. Both are iconic points in the area. One of the rum makers is scared that Havana, La Habana in Spanish, is losing its cultural history and legacy. In the Adawe International Terminal in Numbani is an advert promoting tourism to Havana.
Dorado a city Mexico, it’s placed high above a far-reaching bay. all around the city are gigantic ziggurats, those power the city. These were built by LumériCo, they also made sure the country got the power back after the omnics destroyed most of the countries power grid. Dorado has a festival that celebrates the end of the Omnic Crisis, although it’s not seen it holds an underground criminal element.
Route 66 has been in the map pool of the Overwatch League on and off since the 2018 season. Dorado isn’t an unfamiliar map to some of the players and team as it’s been in the map pool for the second half of Stage 1 and later for Stage 4 of the 2018 season. As for the 2019 season, it made an appearance in Stage 1 and Stage 3 of that season.
With Escort’s game mode, there is an attacking and a defending team. The roles of the teams are chosen at random, once the map is complete the roles switch. The team that is on attack needs to escort the payload across the map to the objective, while the defending team aims to stop them. At the start of every round, the defending team is allowed 45 seconds to prepare for defenses before the attacking team is coming out of the spawn area. Attackers can leave their spawn after the timer runs out.
When they arrive on the point, another timer begins counting down. When the attacking team reaches each checkpoint it adds extra time to the timer. If the attacking team is close to the payload when the timer is running out, Overtime will be activated. If the attacking team gets to the next checkpoint before the Overtime runs out, the extra time is added and stops Overtime, the game will go on as normal. The payload will only move forward when there is someone of the attacking team near or on it.
Hybrid Map Pool
Blizzard World is a map built in Irvine, California. It takes you through different areas of games Blizzard put out. Such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, etc. Maps in games hold a lot of memories from the art to remembering where the first spawn is. Blizzard knows this and said “… Sometimes, epic memories can only be made in an epic world. Your adventure. Your community. Your memories. See them come alive in your world. Blizzard World! Come and visit Blizzard World. New adventures are waiting for you.”
King’s Row is a modern neighborhood located in London, England. It looks like a peaceful place but looks deceive as the tension between omnics and humans is rising. Most of Britain was built by the omnics. Still, the omnics still are denied the same basic rights that humans have. Omnics are still forced to live in dire circumstances, recent demonstrations by pro-omnic-rights protestors ended in clashes between the omnics and the police. Ultimately leading the protests to nothing but more frustration.
Eichenwalde is located in the middle of the Black Forest, which is on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany. This was the place where the leader of the Crusaders and some of his best soldiers, including Reinhardt Wilhelm made the last attempt to fight off the automaton army during the Omnic Crisis. The village was simply the last obstacle for a much larger omnic advance to Stuttgart. Almost all Crusaders were slain during combat, however, thanks to the German military they were able to push back the omnic offensive and win the fight. To this day, Eichenwalde lies abandoned, letting nature consume the village.
Hollywood has been in the map pool since Stage 2 of the 2018 inaugural season. For the 2020 season, they decided to remove the iconic map and add Eichenwalde.
Hybrid is a game mode that combines Assault and Escort into one game mode. At this moment, all available hybrid maps start with an Assault capture point and continue with an Escort objective. Both the Assault and Escort parts in this game mode behave the same as they would in their own modes.
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