Hanzo Overwatch Hero

Will the New Hanzo See Play in the Overwatch League?

The Overwatch League has confirmed that the new reworked Hanzo patch will not be available to play in Stage 4. However, there are still several major changes coming to the game during Stage 4. Some of these changes include buffs to heroes like Reaper and Mei and nerfs to heroes such as D.Va and Zenyatta. Most importantly, Bridgitte will be available to play in the Overwatch League. It will be interesting to see how teams will adapt and create new strategies regarding these changes.

Most people are playing on the current Overwatch patch, with the new, reworked Hanzo. Once he is available to play in the Overwatch League, perhaps in the Playoffs, it will drastically change how teams approach the meta. With the major rework to Hanzo, he is stronger, more mobile, and generally has more reasons to be used in professional play. There is no doubt that his impact will be felt. The archer will take the competition by storm.

An Evolving Kit

Hanzo’s rework offers a few tweaks to his kit, to help better deal with threats. Hanzo’s new ability, Storm Arrow, replaces Scatter Arrow. Storm Arrow allows Hanzo to shred tanks even faster. Instead of aiming at the ground and being able to kill people in one shot with Scatter Arrow, Hanzo now shreds multiple enemies with Storm Arrow. When this new move is activated, Hanzo rapidly fires six arrows for a short duration. Unlike Scatter Arrow, all Storm Arrows can land as a critical hit on an enemy. While Scatter Arrow before had more burst damage, Storm Arrow allows Hanzo to have more consistent damage, which can be even deadlier than scatter arrow when landing consecutive headshots.

Hanzo’s other big change is the addition of a new movement ability: Lunge. This move allows Hanzo to do a brief air dash. This dash can be used in any direction. It can be used to dash backwards when enemies are diving onto Hanzo. Players can also dive forward with it to be more aggressive. Another bonus, Hanzo can fire arrows while using Lunge. The addition of Lunge puts Hanzo in a better position when it comes to playability. Before the rework, Hanzo was nearly unplayable in professional play. Hanzo’s only chance of survival during a dive was to frantically use using Scatter Arrows to kill enemies. With the addition of Lunge, he now has a reliable escape.

To learn more and see how the new Hanzo impacts high level Overwatch play, “Wraxu” – a Top 500 Overwatch Player – showcases the new Hanzo’s rework during a competitive ladder game.

Double Snipers Could Be Seen More

With the Hanzo rework, there is a high chance that teams will run double sniper compositions in the future, utilizing the abilities of Widowmaker and Hanzo together. Double Sniper compositions are hard to play against because of their high direct damage output. With the best players hitting most of their shots onto enemies when using these heroes, this composition could be deadly. Only getting one or two picks can snowball the entire fight in favor of one team or the other. However, with the introduction of Bridgitte and changes to other heroes, it will be exciting to see what heroes’ teams decide to prioritize.

Looking Ahead 

Although Hanzo is unavailable to play in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League, he will certainly impact the competitive ladder. In the future stages of the Overwatch League, his play time will see an increase. For now, teams will not have to worry about the new Hanzo. Instead, they must adapt around Bridgitte and the other changes that Blizzard introduced. To see how the introduction of Bridgitte and how Hanzo will impact the future of Overwatch, tune into Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

Video Credit: Wraxu/Overwatch Pro

Overwatch

Competitive play for Overwatch to start season 10

Today marks the 10th season of Overwatch’s competitive play. While it has seen many tweaks to progression over its course, season 10 does nothing so drastic. The past few seasons have remained constant in regards to progression, but this season sees Brigitte join the fray. Here’s what to look for in the coming season.

Overwatch’s 27th hero unleashed

Overwatch

Brigitte taken from Overwatch

Brigitte is finally joining competitive play. As season nine ended, many wondered what effect Brigitte would have on competitive play. Many still do, although there is a consensus that she will shake up compositions. The dominating structure of 2-2-2 may finally begin to wind down, as Brigitte will allow her to fill the tanky/support role she was designed to. She’s also made a living on harassing Tracer’s and Winston’s that attempt to get a jump on a team’s back-line. Her stun is the most useful tool in these situations, and makes quick works of squishy targets. With focus fire, even a tankier character will feel the wrath of Brigitte. Her ability to provide armor to scale back some damage, and to provide area healing while dealing damage will see many compositions experiment to find the right fit.

With Brigitte being launched competitively before the start of Overwatch League’s stage four, it remains to be seen if she’ll be played on the big stage. If she is eligible, many will look to see how top tier teams and players utilize her. Her addition may be the bane of some players, but she may give Overwatch the jolt it has been looking for recently.

Scatter Remains

Overwatch

Source: Play Overwatch and Blizzard Entertainment

Although the new Hanzo rework has been on the PTR for a week or so now, it hasn’t made the jump to the live servers. If this rework follows suit with the introduction of Brigitte, we will be stuck with scatter arrow for another competitive season. However, since Hanzo is an older character, perhaps Blizzard allows his rework to make its way to the competitive scene. Either way, scatter arrows reign is ending, and all who love it should enjoy using it one last time.

If you don’t know, scatter arrow is being replaced with an ability called storm arrows. This ability reduces Hanzo’s arrow damage slightly, but allows him to fire six arrows in rapid succession. These arrows are also fully pulled back to allow for high damage. They can burn through tankier foes’ health bars, especially with critical hits. He’ll also be gaining a new mobility ability. Lunge allows for Hanzo to leap horizontally in the air, and increases his range of movement. This allows for Hanzo to move from higher locations easier, and to clear further distances or flank faster. Combined with storm arrows, Hanzo looks like a blast to play.

Rialto joining quick play map pool

Overwatch

Rialto, the new payload map. Taken from Overwatch

Although new payload map Rialto will not be coming to competitive play, it will go live this week in Overwatch. Players in all the other types of play will be able on the new map, which is a welcome addition. Blizzardworld is still a fresh map, so the continuous adding of maps to the map pool has been great work by Blizzard. New maps add new and different strategies to each player, and each new type is a welcome addition. Competitive players can look forward to using this season to sharpen their skills on Rialto for the upcoming eleventh season.

Symmetra Rework coming along

Overwatch

Symmetra and teleporter taken from Overwatch

Symmetra’s rework and change to defense hero is progressing nicely. Her abilities will be swapped, as her ultimate will be a movable, 5000 hp shield, while her teleporter becomes a regular ability. She’ll also be able to create reduced turrets, and her primary fire will no longer lock on. A lot of previous issues players had with Symmetra and the way she plays is being addressed nicely by Blizzard, and the rework seems to be progressing nicely. By the time season eleven rolls around for competitive play, look for Symmetra to be a completely different hero.

And that covers it! Not a whole lot is changing to this competitive season, but adding in a new hero is certainly going to change a lot of ways players will tackle maps. Look for the cries of Brigitte being unfair or unplayable to quickly follow the beginning of the season. Most of all, get out there and have fun climbing the ladder once more!

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Featured Image courtesy of Overwatch League and Blizzard

Overwatch

Overwatch Week 2/13 News

On the off week between the Overewatch League stages one and two, there’s still plenty of news and reports coming in. With game director Jeff Kaplan talking about upcoming hero changes, to reports of new players joining different teams, there’s something for everybody. After the exhilarating five weeks of Overwatch, many teams look poised to change-up strategies. Some teams like New York Excelsior and the London Spitfire are oozing confidence coming into the second stage. Others, like the Shanghai Dragons and Florida Mayhem will look to turn their season around.

Play Symmetra you cowards!

Currently Overwatch has 26 heroes available to play. Their roles vary between offense, defense, Overwatchtank, and support. Symmetra is placed within the support role. Many who play supports have a problem with this, as currently her only viable way to support is to use her ultimate. With this, she may either place a teleporter or shield generator. She has no ability to heal, and only a minor moving shield she can deploy. This is the main problem with her role as a support. She is not viable when compared with others like Ana or Mercy. These heroes can heal and sustain their teammates. Symmetra, for this reason, is incredibly difficult to fit into a team composition.

Because of all this, Symmetra was the only hero that did not see any playing time during stage one of the Overwatch League. This led to many humorous posts and posters clamoring for someone to show her some love, much like the photo to the right. The good news is that Jeff Kaplan knows Symmetra isn’t on par with the other heroes. In a recent forum post, Kaplan stated that, “Symmetra will require more work to get into a better place and therefore take longer to address”. Ideas for the hero have not been revealed, but it is a good sign that the development team knows there is more to be done to do her justice.

Hanzo, what could have been

Another hero that has been receiving tweaks and ideas for improvement is Hanzo. The main problem players have with Hanzo is that his ability scatter arrow rewards players for aiming at an enemies feet. This was not the intention of the ability. As a sniper, Hanzo and his abilities should focus on a player’s aim. Geoff Goodman took to the forums to share some of the ideas the Blizzard development team had been working on.

Overwatch

Source: Play Overwatch and Blizzard Entertainment

The first attempt they tried was giving Hanzo a fast-moving, shield piercing arrow. While it required aim, the team felt that it’s piercing nature was still frustrating to those utilizing the utmost positioning of barriers. They then focused on keeping scatter arrow but changing its properties. Instead of splitting into multiple arrows as it currently does, they tried making it a ricochet mechanic. With one or even two bounces, the arrow was deemed fair, although incredibly hard to use. It would require extreme knowledge of every map, and how the arrow would bounce off each area. While fun to use, it wasn’t a consistent enough ability that would lead to players feeling let down.

A final rework was a new ability. It would be a reload of his cooldowns, and would require around two or three seconds of animation to effectively use. While it seemed like a good fit for his scatter arrow, the recon ability of sonic arrow became to powerful with such fast resets. Ultimately, Goodman ends the post saying that while none of these have worked, they’ve narrowed what can be done to make Hanzo more rewarding to play.

 

Overwatch League receiving Girl Power

Rumors and reports are abound that the Shanghai Dragons are looking to add some more players to their roster in an attempt to perform better during stage two. One of the most intriguing of these are reports of the team signing professional Overwatch player Geguri. Geguri is actually Kim Se-yeon, a South Korean pro player. If these reports turn out to be true and the Dragons do sign Geguri, they will add the first female player to the Overwatch League. This is exciting news as it would allow a breaking of the gender barrier. Geguri is an extremely talented player who can add a new energy and dynamic to a struggling team. Her play as Zarya is actually so well executed, many professional players reported her for cheating. Geguri was cleared of any cheating by Blizzard, and many who accused her issued apologies for doubting her ability.

(Update: She has officially been signed according to reports)

Check out a few highlights of her play on Zarya here.

The Dragons are also reportedly in the mix to sign a few other Korean players. Both  Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok and Cheon “Ado” Ki-hyun are set to join Geguri in signing. If this is true, that would mean that Shanghai is not ready to call it on their Overwatch season and that they’ll continue to tweak their roster to find the best fit. With three more stages to go, there is plenty of time.

A Shift in the Meta?

Overwatch

(Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment)

Stage one of the Overwatch League featured the latest patch applied before the stage began. Now, the teams will have to adjust to a different patch. Two of the key heroes of stage one have been nerfed.

Mercy is the most notable, as her Valkyrie will no longer be the focus of every team fight. With a fixed one resurrect charge, her time in the meta may fall out of favor for other supports. This could allow Ana and Moira to shine. Their abilities fit a more up-tempo style of play that could see teams like the Dallas Fuel having a better record. Junkrat is also receiving a nerf to his concussion mine damage. Instead of doing a flat-rate of damage, the damage will now fall-off with distance from the mine. While this does make Junkrat technically weaker in general, the aiming abilities of many of the top players should still be able to utilize his mine’s effectively.

Sombra has also had some new tweaks placed on the public test realm. Her hacked medpacks will no longer give her ultimate charge. To balance this, her hacking and EMP would now effect more abilities. While this is a balancing act, many feel that it will allow Sombra to flourish more in a competitive scene. With a key support in Mercy receiving major changes from stage one to stage two, many teams may switch their play styles. This is what Overwatch is all about, constantly shifting the meta. The dive meta will most likely reign supreme, but Mercy may find herself sitting on the sidelines.

 

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Players to Watch on Every Overwatch League Team

The era of franchised esports leagues begins with the opening of the Overwatch League at Blizzard’s Arena in Burbank, California. The team-based, first-person shooter, with millions of players and fans worldwide, throws its hat into the competitive arena, but I’m not here to talk the business side anymore.

It’s finally time for the players to suit up and actually find out who the best is on the battlefield. 120 of the top Overwatch players from across the globe are competing for that title at the end of the season. Each team is crammed with firepower, but here are THE players to watch on each Overwatch team.

Shanghai Dragons: Diya, Hitscan main

Lu “Diya” Weida, a Chinese DPS-main, took the preseason by storm. The Dragons, while talented, had a relatively unknown roster for Western Overwatch fans heading into season one. Diya quickly made an impression with incredible precision on McCree. On a Dragons team lacking solid supports, Diya will have to carry the offense. He’s certainly talented enough to do so.

Boston Uprising: Gamsu, Tank

See? It’s not all damage-mains. The bulk of talent actually seems to bleed into the tank line. Yeong-jin “Gamsu” Noh, the famous League of Legends player, now headlines on the Uprising as their consistent tank. In the preseason, Gamsu played a major role in the attack. He sets up for the Uprising damage-duo to do work on the backend.

Photo Courtesy of Overwatch League

San Francisco Shock: Babybay, Hitscan/Flex

The Shock will be getting much-needed reinforcements with Jay “Sinatraa” Won, but in the meantime, Andrej “Babybay” Francisty will be carrying the Shock offense. This is similar to what he had to do in the preseason. A strong force as a hitscan player that can also flex onto tank roles. Babybay’s damage output could decide games.

Florida Mayhem: Manneten, Tank

Throwing out a curveball here. Everyone knows Kevyn “TviQ” Lindstrom can ball, but analyzing this team, Tim “Manneten” Bylund comes away as the most important player on the roster. In a rather lackluster preseason showing from the Mayhem, Manneten was the only player putting up any sort of fight. His hero pool, as a tank main, is more versatile than most.

Houston Outlaws: LiNkzr, Damage

The Outlaws are a team stacked with DPS-depth, but one player looks on the verge of a breakthrough: Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin. Sure, Matt “Coolmatt” Lorio might set the tone for this team, but LiNkzr is the player who’s going to separate the Outlaws. If Widowmaker is as popular in the meta as it was in the preseason, LiNkzr could be even more dangerous.

London Spitfire: Fissure, Tank

The most stupidly, ridiculously stacked team in the Overwatch League is the combination of two of the best Korean teams. Every position is filled with 2-3 players that would be possibly the best player on another team. So, who stands above as the essential personnel? Well, that would be arguably the best tank main in Korea, Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung. He will spearhead the entire Spitfire attack.

New York Excelsior: Saebyeolbe, Hitscan

Possibly the most exciting team to watch in the preseason, a combination of explosiveness and solid team-fighting. Until Hwang “Flow3r” Yeon-oh arrives, Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-yeol will have to carry the reigns of this spectacular DPS-duo. His Tracer play is near the top for one of the most talented characters in all of Overwatch.

Dallas Fuel: Taimou, Damage/Flex

It’s simple for the Dallas Fuel, get Timo “Taimou”  Kettunen sightlines or pave the way for this player. Yes, Félix “xQc Lengyel and Christian “Cocco” Jonsson are a phenomenal tank-line, but Taimou will make or break maps. In terms of aim, Taimou can destroy pushes with Widowmaker. His hero pool allows plenty of versatility as well, I mean did you see that Roadhog?

Los Angeles Gladiators: Shaz, Support

A support main? What?

Yes, Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara will be the key to the Gladiators success this season. Only a few other players impressed me more in the preseason than Shaz. He was involved in every situation and worked in tandem with Benjamin “iBigG00se” Isohanni. Shaz finds a way to stay alive and gives the Gladiators DPS-mains the push needed to take points. The support main to watch this season? Shaz.

Los Angeles Valiant: uNKoe, Flex-Support

Benjamin “uNKoe” Chevasson isn’t the most talented player on this team, but a player who can switch off Ana, Zenyatta, and Mercy is invaluable in any meta-game. Valiant have a load of work to do before this team is a real contender, based on the preseason, uNKoe will be one of the few consistencies on this team. The French player has the most experience on this team.

Photo Courtesy of Overwatch League

Seoul Dynasty: Zunba, Flex-Tank

For my money, Kim “Zunba” Joon-hyuk is going to be the player that pushes this team over the top. The Dynasty have 10 players to keep an eye on, but it feels as if their biggest advantage is in the Flex-Tank spot, and Zunba being a versatile and strong option in that regard.

Philadelphia Fusion: Carpe, Damage

The remains of the FaZe clan team of Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok, George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha, and Joe “Joemeister” Gramano will be the core of the Fusion. The experience from these three will be important, but the dynamic DPS-duo of Carpe and Shadowburn will be what this team will lean on.

With the Overwatch League going on this week you can decide who you think the player to watch on each team will be. Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

 

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