3 thoughts after Weekend 2 of OWL

There is a lot to take away from the past few weekends in the Overwatch League. Most people are preoccupied with the shaky streaming quality and the fact that people still can’t get access to the same game as the pros. (Ok, soon everyone will be left out of the Overwatch 2 multiplayer beta, but that discussion is for another time.) But there are more important things to discuss when it comes to the opening weeks of OWL.

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Definitions at the moment are constantly changing, with some major exceptions in damage and support roles. Teams discover Push is a coin flip like 2CP on occasion. Viewers are still looking up! drops. There may not be enough time in this article to break it all down, but there is time to focus on three of the most interesting bits from the start of the 2022 Overwatch League season.

Anna is a perma choice, and that’s a good thing

People may disagree, but Anna is one of the best characters to watch on a professional level. The supporting role can sometimes be boring for the viewer, especially in the slower definitions. Anna differs greatly from other forms of support in the way she can completely reconfigure the reform with her core capabilities. Yes, Mercy can revive a fallen ally and Lucio can ride the Wall to Heaven, but they don’t bring the same kind of “Wow!” A factor that a Sleep Dart or Bio-Grenade can achieve in time.

Anna is also just an insanely fun character to watch in the hands of incredibly talented players. Getting a first-person view of Anna mixing in damage shots between healing allies with low health is great stuff. Viewers have seen Sleep Darts neutralize an entire attack or the entire round by sleeping on Sombra in the middle of the end. Then there’s its own ending, which allows other teammates to steal the spotlight for a few seconds. Nanoboost is ultimate fun for viewers and an absolute nightmare for opponents.

The current meta requires a ton of Anna’s team player. Teams need to focus on opposing flexible support while defending themselves, but with Overwatch 2’s smaller team size, it’s becoming increasingly imperative for Ana to be able to protect themselves. This push and pull to defend and attack provides a unique situation in games where several players are bent on killing Anna player, eventually seeing Anna avoid death and manage the fight.

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With the Overwatch 2 beta, the supporting role was part of the Forgotten Child. DPS and tanks received some major changes, while the struts are relatively unchanged. This makes it even more impressive that Ana players can still steal the show apart from all the new Overwatch updates. As long as Ana remains dead, there will still be a lot of highlights coming from the back line.

The pros are learning Overwatch 2 with us

Competitive players love to watch the pros find out what they think is the best way to play the game. Often times, the ranked ladder is dictated by the Meta Overwatch League to the highest ranks. And really, if their mission was to win games, wouldn’t they play the optimal configuration? If the best of the best thinks good, it must be the right way to play. The funny thing about the OWL game being played on Overwatch 2 is that the pros are still working through their theories in real time.

Pros only started playing Overwatch 2 a few months ago on the alpha version of the game. Due to its unpolished state, players were just trying to get a feel for the way the game would play without this sixth member of the team. There’s shortly after the beta release and teams can now really control what potential companies will succeed in a more divergent version of Overwatch. At the moment, it looks like the teams have decided on more high-tempo diving combinations to practice, but fans have already seen multiple forms of the familiar gameplay.

Teams shy away from divergent characters that get locked out on each map, and have success changing play styles during matches. It’s interesting to see the different changes the teams make in the little time between matches one and two. Players and coaches are finding new ways to deal with certain problems, and they are constantly re-evaluating what they think is the right way to play. Nothing is close to being resolved early this year. Professionals work to solve it together with the average player.

The game won’t look like this in a month

The working word for all Overwatch 2 letters is “beta”. Overwatch 2 is in its beta phase, which means that it is still subject to changes and not in its final state. The PVP beta was created to allow the casual player to experience the game firsthand, and for the developers to hear feedback on what works and what doesn’t. The game has received three patches in the past few weeks that have been available to players, some of which came with changes to characters’ abilities.

Now that beta play is paused, the Overwatch League will be the only group playing Overwatch 2. Changes can be made behind the scenes but the game will most likely not be updated for professionals for some time. Competitive integrity and all that.

But fans can expect that the game will change quickly in the near future. Whether it’s a constant metamorphosis, or perhaps even a new character or map, the Overwatch League will never be the same. The APAC teams will be getting their makeover to shine this weekend, and viewers can only guess what the subtitled meta will look like. For all we know, they could have pioneered some Wrecking Ball strategies that Western teams were too afraid to test.

Overall Overwatch is a game that is always evolving. Even in the dark times of the GOATs era, there were teams willing to give counter-strikes a chance when they knew they couldn’t reverse the best teams. The Overwatch playesr adapts and devise new ways to gain advantages over their opponents. As a new game continues to work, viewers can expect something to shake up the league in no time. Let’s all hope for the best.

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Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League

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