Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer recently tweeted that Stage One of OWL Season Two will be played on the current PTR (Public Test Region) patch.
As I mentioned during the pro PUGs last week, our goal is better align Overwatch League patches with what is live in the game. Stage 1 of @Overwatchleague 2019 Season will be played on the patch currently on the PTR.
— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) January 17, 2019
This means that the patch with the Reaper buffs, as well as the D.Va, Brigitte, and armor nerfs will be played at a professional level. This patch does bring questions forward, though – most notably the following one: “Will GOATS be in season two?”.
“Will GOATS Be In Season Two?”
In the short term, yes. There are a few different reasons GOATS will be in OWL Season Two, the main reason being that teams have been practicing it for several months now. GOATS may not be the strongest composition going into Stage One, but it is the most practiced.
Professional teams aren’t going to throw away several months of experience playing GOATS because of some nerfs. All of the parts that make GOATS so strong are still there, the AOE (Area Of Effect) healing, large health pools, and armor from Brigitte’s rally. Not only that, but finding a way to counter GOATS will take time.
There Still Isn’t A Reliable Way To Counter GOATS
There have been attempts to counter GOATS, but none of them are reliable enough to run 100% of the time. In Overwatch Contenders, teams run variations of dive compositions, often with Sombra and Pharah. A few teams have also run quadruple DPS, with a single tank and healer on certain maps, to varying degrees of success.
The dive compositions to counter GOATS only win team fights when they have ultimates to use, otherwise the GOATS composition allows a team to do whatever they want. The quadruple DPS composition ran mainly by StormQuake in Contenders Korea worked to varying success. This is because the DPS would get picks on the enemy team before the GOATS composition could get to them. This was countered by switching from GOATS to a dive composition that would single out an already separated player and delete them.
This composition works against GOATS on certain parts of certain maps, it has no sustain with a single healer and will be dismantled easily on other compositions. Don’t expect this composition much in the Overwatch League.
Reaper Still Isn’t Anti-GOATS
The PTR patch that Stage One of OWL will be played on has a significant buff to Reaper’s passive healing, Reaping. His Reaping ability is now 50% from the previous 30%, making him heal half of all the damage he deals. However, this still doesn’t fix his other problems that make him a forgotten character in professional play.
Reaper can heal more, but he is still slow-moving, very loud, does no ranged damage, his teleport is still touchy, and he can still be countered easily. Reaper is a close range flanking character, but he is heard easily because his abilities are loud. He plays a lot like Tracer, flanking and harassing the enemy, until the rest of the team engages on them. However he lacks the mobility of Tracer, at most he can run away in Wraith form and hope nobody is chasing him.
Reaper does insane amounts of damage at point-blank range, his only problem is getting there undetected. He is shut down easily by a Roadhog hook, McCree flash, Brigitte stun, Sombra hack, and any amount of damage to force out his Wraith form. Reaper is very strong in lower ranks of Competitive Matchmaking where there is less awareness and coordination. However, in professional play, he can be shut down easily. Don’t expect to see much of him in Stage One.
What To Expect For Stage One
Expect to see the majority of games for Stage One be GOATS compositions or variations of GOATS compositions. Teams are probably practicing ways to counter GOATS, but until teams are good at them, they’ll be sticking to what they know. Stage One might see GOATS counters on certain maps or against certain teams, but don’t hold your breath expecting GOATS to magically disappear.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @Hearin_Voices.
Featured Image Courtesy of Overwatch League
Featured Video Courtesy of Overwatch Contenders
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
“From our Haus to Yours”