For a week with so much going on in Overwatch, not much happened, as it were. Outside of the news below, watch for Overwatch Archives to be announced soon!

Baptiste and Balance

The biggest news in the general Overwatch world is that the latest support hero, Baptiste, joined the live servers! Baptiste brings a neat twist to healing, launching grenades that do area healing upon impact. He can also provide a field that grants invulnerability in a small area for a short time. As an Ana main, I found myself to be able to pick up his abilities fairly quick.

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Aside from Baptiste, 19 other heroes received changes in this patch. You can read the full list here, but overall, most of the heroes received some kind of buff, with those whose special abilities affect others, like Lucio and Zenyatta, had those abilities get weaker, while making the individual heroes themselves stronger.

I don’t know about you, but I’m having the same problem with Baptiste that I have with Ana’s Biotic Grenades: someone on my team always manages to walk by me just as I’m firing, hitting them 1 foot away instead of my target down the map. I could be 30 meters from my team, but somehow one always seems to manage to get into my way. ;)

Esports

Stage 2 Changes

Stage 1 playoffs are underway this weekend, and Stage 2 begins the first week of April after a short one week break. New to the next stage will be Baptiste, the Paris map that was recently added, the above patch adjustments to heroes, changes to the map order, and slight schedule changes.

In order to clean up those occasional moments where the winner of a series is known halfway through map 3, assault and hybrid maps are switching places, with assault moving to the second one played in a series. The idea here is to help keep up the hype just a bit longer for, “Will they or won’t they?” moments to see if a team can get a reverse sweep.

When the Stage 1 schedule was created, it was done under the assumption that maps would finish in an hour and a half. That proved to be a bit short in many cases, and so now the schedule assumes an hour and 45 minutes to fit with the average that games were taking. The times on the Overwatch League website have already been adjusted to reflect this for future games.

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Playoffs

Stage 1 playoffs have begun! There was an upset already on Day 1 of the quarterfinals, where NYXL lost to Seoul Dynasty 1-3. This loss came after just about everyone, including yours truly, thought NYXL would win the finals on Sunday!

On Friday, March 22 (tonight!), the remainder of the quarterfinals matches will be played, and the winners of those matches will be re-seeded for the semifinals. Looking at the bracket can be a bit confusing, but because the Dynasty were already the lowest seed, they’re facing off against the highest seed, the Titans, on Saturday.

Sideshow is back!

After being stuck overseas with visa problems, Sideshow has finally been able to return to Los Angeles… if he was ever gone at all!