The first round of the North American Contenders playoffs is in the books. The games were tightly contended across the board and displayed some great skill by the players. However, it is the compositions and strategies that stood out after this first round.
These games were some of the very first games played on the new patch, 1.26, which features Wrecking Ball in competitive play along with large changes to Sombra. This patch has already been replaced with patch 1.27, effective 8/9/18, which will likely go into effect after the playoffs beginning with season 3.
With these new patches, we have already seen a drastic change in how the game is played. Teams have begun utilizing Wrecking Ball and we have seen an increased use of Mei, Sombra and Doomfist. This will likely only continue to change and develop as we see characters like Ana, Lucio and Symmetra receiving buffs in the newest patch. But, what will this mean for Overwatch League Season 2 and the Overwatch World Cup?
Teams have been going back to more of a dive-oriented style of play on this patch. With Wrecking Ball, Doomfist and Sombra, teams are able to go in very quickly and deal considerable damage. This usually combines Sombra’s hack, Wrecking Ball’s piledriver and Doomfist in for clean-up damage. This version of dive can deal more damage at once, as opposed to Winston, D.Va and Tracer. However, it also requires more precise timing than the previous version of dive. If teams have time to react to Sombra’s hack before Wrecking Ball arrives, the entire dive can be nullified.
So far, teams have attempted to counter this new dive by using characters like Mei and Brigette. These slow down the enemy team and allow healers to have time to quickly heal whichever hero got dove on. Because quick healing is necessary here, healers like Mercy and Ana will likely receive more play time, especially after Ana received a buff in the newest patch.
Play Symmetra, You Cowards!
Will we be seeing everyone’s favorite hero in professional play? Her current re-work could provide some sneaky situational moves, but she seems far from being a hero we will see consistently. The same can be said of Torbjorn and Reaper, each having the potential to catch the enemy team off-guard, but very easy to counter.
Outside of pro play, however, all bets are off. Teams have already begun using abnormal compositions in competitive play and this will continue until a new meta is cemented into place. Until then, enjoy the wackiness that is the current Overwatch meta. The viable hero pool is as wide open as it’s ever been. Who will you play?
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