We are back this week in Washington, DC with hero pools, a two-faced Paris team and a beast making his stage debut. Let’s get started!
A Hero Ban By Another Name
Instead of the usual talent and production related section this week I want to focus my attention on one of the most major changes to competitive Overwatch since 2-2-2 role lock was introduced last season.
Hero pools! Every week from this on forward, two DPS, one support, and one tank will be banned. Eligible heroes are ones with 10% or more of play time from the previous two days. No hero will be banned for two weeks in a row.
This week’s banned heroes:
Looking at the metagame from the last few weeks of OWL games these bans three of the most popular heroes. The Moira ban is effectively irrelevant since she was only barely above the 10% criteria and most teams didn’t run her outside of very specific scenarios.
The Widowmaker and McCree bans meant that the most effective hitscan options were eliminated from the game and teams were forced to use Soldier 76 instead for hitscan capability.
The Reinhardt ban meant that teams started using either mobile Winston/D.Va/Mei/Sombra based dive compositions or more bunker like Orisa/D.Va compositions. D.Va is still an extremely effective and versatile hero leading to 90+% pick rates.
The Reinhardt ban also seemed to have affected the Boston Uprising significantly as they don’t seem to have a capable Winston player to play dive forcing them to play Orisa/Sigma which is just not as effective as having D.Va’s mobility and abilities in the off-tank role. I’ll talk more about this weakness later in my section on the Boston vs Atlanta match.
Overall, this week’s hero bans were interesting but I don’t think the meta was significant changed up, for that to happen I think we would need to see bans of D.Va, Mei, Sombra and Lucio/Ana.
Before I get started on talking about the games I want to talk about I want to talk about the Toronto Defiant for a bit. As a fan of the team it has been a rough few weeks, they look a bit lost and are getting outplayed by teams that are just playing normally. Disappointing but this was the case last season as well so at this point I’m used to it. Alright, now that depressing bit is done with, onwards.
Paris Eternal vs Phildelphia Fusion
Paris Eternal this week was one of the most interesting teams to watch because their match on Saturday vs the Houston Outlaws was extremely one sided and the Eternal looked absolutely lost and they were making basic mistakes against a bottom of the barrel Outlaws.
On this second match against the Fusion on Sunday they looked like a completely different team. Measured aggression and the team looked like they were in sync. I think the Fusion were caught by surprise by this team and the first two maps in this series were one sided in Paris’ favour. Paris Eternal even set a record attack time on Junkertown.
It looked like the Eternal were going to 3-0 sweep the Fusion but after the game break the Fusion came back to their old selves and adapted to the Eternal’s aggressive plays and the next two maps were then one-sided in Philly’s favour.
Philly fans are probably used to their team heading to map 5s and this one was one hell of a map 5. It went to three stages of Oasis and the last stage had one of the longest brawls I have ever seen in Overwatch. At the end of it though Paris were able to win the series 3-2.
If you want to watch one match this week, this is the one. Especially that last tiebreaker map.
Boston Uprising vs Atlanta Reign
Like I mentioned earlier I was going to talk about the Boston Uprising for a bit. What the fuck is happening over at Uprising? Why is Mouffin playing Sigma? Can Fusions not play Winston? Why is Colourhex using Barrage straight into a D.Va’s Defence Matrix? Where is Axxiom? Why did Munchkin quit the team to play for a Contenders Trials team in Korea? The team just looks extremely lost and they are making basic mistakes like using ultimates when most of the team is down amongst other things. Boston coaches, hello are you there?
On the other hand Atlanta Reign is looking absolutely fantastic! Babybay said that they would be unleashing the beast this week and that beast is no other than extremely talented DPS player Edison (formerly on GC Busan Wave in Contenders Korea). Edison just had a fantastic series on whatever hero he played, you love to see it. Also a shoutout to the Reign off-tank Hawk who had an incredible series on D.Va.
Concluding thoughts and next week’s hero bans
Overall this week didn’t have a large number of good series but the introduction of hero pools kept things interesting. It was great to see Tracer back and being played again. Saebyeolbe Tracer was a treat for the little bit of it that we had there. Next week is going to be the Florida homestand in Miami and I’m looking forward to what sort of stuff Florida does for their homestand.
As for hero pools/bans, next week’s bans are:
- Soldier 76
Extremely unfortunate that Winston and Soldier 76 are banned. I wish that D.Va and Mei were banned instead. With Lucio being banned, it will be interesting to see what sort of bunker related compositions team come up with. We might just see a return to double shield compositions which is not great but y’know I’m keeping my hopes up for something creative.
See y’all next week!