Deathmatch and hero changes on the PTR

“Die! Die! Die!” said one man in a black cloak upon the news that Overwatch is getting a Deathmatch mode. Blizzard unveiled the new mode on the PTR this week after Jeff Kaplan previously stated Overwatch would never have it. Introduced along with Deathmatch is a new map at Château Guillard, estate of Widowmaker’s family, which was created specifically for the mode. Other maps have been adjusted for Deathmatch, similar to changes previously made for Capture the Flag. Further details may be found in the Developer Update.

Also on the PTR this week are a number of hero changes, most notable being those for Junkrat and Roadhog. Junkrat is able to store two Concussion Mines instead of one, the first disappears when the second is launched, and Rip-Tire is now able to climb walls. While Roadhog is Taking a Breather, he is now able to move and damage against him is reduced, which lowers how much he can be used as the proverbial “ult charge” for other heroes. Both Orisa and Widowmaker also have a few quality of life improvements to test out so hop onto the PTR and try them out! (Remember, PTR changes are not necessarily final.)

Canada and South Korea are taking a trip to California

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It was a weekend of blowouts at the World Cup Group Stage in Katowice, Poland. Over the event, every match-up went 4-0 until the match to determine who would face South Korea in the qualifiers between Canada and Russia. These two teams fought hard for that win because they knew that going up against the powerful South Korea would likely mean an end to their World Cup championship hopes.

In the end, Canada was able to capitalize on the fact that Russia was struggling against their Pharmercy duo and pulled off a victory in overtime, which meant Canada would face off against The Netherlands in the qualifiers, a team that was perceived as easier. Making it look TwoEasy, Canada won 3-0, as did South Korea over Russia, which means both are heading to BlizzCon in November.

Summer Games

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“I love the smell of charcoal in the morning!” New skins, voice lines, sprays, and Lucioball mark the return of the Overwatch Summer Games! This is the first event to take place after the changes to lootboxes where it’s less likely to receive duplicate items so getting new items is in your favor! Luck not no your side? Unlike last year, players can buy the event items with in-game currency, and can even buy last year’s at a reduced price.

Lucioball has a few changes this year to improve the experience. Soundwave (“boop!”) can no longer knockback enemies, and his ultimate temporarily increases his speed and gives him unlimited boops while it’s active. Also new this year is the optional competitive Lucioball where those who finish in the Top 500 will receive a special spray reward.

Los Angeles and London OWL franchises announced

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Two new Overwatch League franchises were revealed this week. Representing London, and the first European OWL team, will be famed esports organization Cloud9. A second Los Angeles team has been picked up by owners of the LA Rams and Denver Nuggets, among other entities. These two franchises add to the seven previously announced teams.

Notable News

  • Season 5 for Competitive Mode ends on August 28 and Season 6 begins on August 31.

  • Rumors say EnVyUs will be the Austin-Dallas Overwatch League team.

  • Rumor has it that Team Liquid will be dropping its Overwatch roster in the coming weeks.

  • Rest in Pyjamas was picked up by Finnish electronics firm Gigantti and will now be known as Team Gigantti.

  • ROX Orcas has signed Geguri, who will be the first woman to participate in APEX. Geguri found herself in one of the first Overwatch controversies when she was accused of cheating by two pro players, who said they would quit if she was actually that skilled. Proved innocent by Blizzard, those two pro players quit Overwatch esports.

Roster Changes

  • Bazooka Puppies’s klanton (support) steps back from Overwatch (EU) and American PsychoWaffle will replace him.

  • Hidan (support) leaves Iceblock and is looking for a team (FR).

  • Finnsi (tank) of the former Movistar Riders is looking for a team (IS).

  • Brad “sephy” Rajani (coach), of the former Selfless Gaming, joins NRG’s OWL team as coach (OWL), replacing Seamus “seamoose” Anderson.

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