Sigma In-Game Items added to PTR

Skins, emotes, voice lines, and other items for Sigma were added to the PTR this week. A week and a half after being stuck with the base loot, we got our first look at the new items. His rare skins are some of the coolest looking, and his Asylum skin has caused the most controversy, with many upset, feeling Blizzard is continuing the stigma against those with working through mental health struggles.

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On the design of Sigma, as reported by Polygon, concept artist Qiu Fang said:

“We decided to keep the feet bare to sell the ‘asylum’ look a bit more; in many institutions, patients are not allowed to have shoes because they might cause harm with the laces.”

In a separate story, interviewing Overwatch Lead Writer Michael Chu, he said:

“…we never intended him to be an example of someone who’s going through mental health issues. He’s really supposed to be more focused on this very specific thing that happened to him, which is that his body and his mind were literally ripped apart by the momentary exposure to a black hole.”

Take it how you will, but those are a few of the official voices behind feel Sigma’s design.

Previews of the skins and highlight intros may be found on our Twitter profile. Overwatch League versions of the skins are previewed on the OWL website.

Overwatch League and Contenders Roster Construction 2020

The Overwatch League announced rules for building teams for both the League and Contenders in 2020. It also included important OWL player dates coming up soon.

In short, the dates detail when player contracts for 2020 may begin, when unsigned players become free agents, and when teams must have a minimum roster of eight players. Specific dates are in the announcement, but most take place between September and November.

2019-S4W1D3-160138-Joona -fragi- Laine-Robert Paul.jpg Photo by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

As for Contenders, new rules have been added saying that an academy team must compete in the same region that their Overwatch League team belongs to. To participate in a region not their own, they must have a presence in that other region, and give up some benefits of being an academy team. Teams like Fusion University, who moved from North America East to Korea earlier this year, are temporarily grandfathered in.

Regulations around players with Two-Way contracts have been eased as well, such as in how many games they can play in OWL before being disallowed to play in Contenders, and how many Two-Way players may play in a single match. Two-Way contracts allow players to compete both in Conteders and the Overwatch League.

Miscellaneous

  • Many World Cup teams announced their rosters and a redditor has compiled all reveals so far.
  • Houston Outlaws have been purchased from Immortals Gaming by Lee Zieben fo the Zieben Group for $40 million.
  • New Washington Justice players ELLIVOTE and LullSiSH will not be able to play until 2020 due to visa troubles in trying to get to the US in time for Stage 4.
  • Applications for the Tespa Varsity Series are open until Monday, August 19. The Varsity Series is only for colleges that actively support esports, and is separate from their normal season.

This Week on Overbuff

This week Part 2 of the interview with Shanghai Dragons Head Coach BlueHaS went up, discussing his coaching and coaching style. Read Part 1 here about the Stage 3 playoffs and what’s to come in Stage 4. I’m not saying I influenced the decision to put Geguri on stage a few times already this Stage, but Geguri has been playing more lately.