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On Tuesday the Sigma Maestro Challenge began, offering a new player icon, legendary emote, and legendary skin for getting 3, 6, and 9 wins in Quick Play, Competitive, or Arcade modes.

There are also a number of sprays to earn from watching any Overwatch stream during the length of the challenge for 2, 4, and 6 hour increments.

The Career Profile also got a refresh, becoming much easier to read major facts and statistics. Blizzard also started reporting Quick Play losses again, something that hasn’t been reported to players in years and this has caused a bit of havoc on our systems. More on that below.

Player icons are now also sortable by event, hero, and even pachimari. About time!

PTR

Some fun workshop changes were made, allowing creators to scale hero sizes, making heroes in Custom Games extremely small, or gargantuan. A number of examples have appeared online, much of it from the Team Ireland GM, and a longer video posted from the Overwatch team.

  • Gigantic Orisa receiving her puppy gift. (link)
  • Torbzilla (link)
  • Varied examples of numerous heroes from OW developers. (link)

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Experimental

There is no new experimental patch yet, but Jeff Kaplan posted to Reddit this week saying there are two different cards coming “soon,” (as in no date provided).

In the post he said that one card is focused on balance changes, including an experiment with Moira that the team is unsure of, but would like the playerbase to try and get their thoughts. This balance change patch will also tone down Genji a little bit. Genji players don’t panic like a few people on our Twitter did. Jeff said, “minor toning down,” and a few read, “NERFING TO THE GROUND AND BASICALLY DELETING.” I suspect the changes will most likely be a small increase to his ultimate cost, but it’s also possible it could be a small cooldown change or damage change.

The other Experimental card will be something that is a “failed” experiment the Overwatch team tried internally. It doesn’t sound like it will ever go live, at least in this iteration, but they thought players would have fun playing around with it for a little bit.

Again, as of this writing there are no further details on either nor do we have release dates.

Quick Play Profiles Sort of Broken

With the improvements to Career Profiles in-game this week, they caused some troubles for Quick Play stats on our site. Most of our users will discover they have an incredibly large plummet in their scores and rankings.

I can’t go into detail just yet as to what happened, but we know the problem and are playing with a few solutions. Some of these solutions may be temporary while we work on the larger system overall.

When we have details to share, they will be on our blog and on our Twitter.

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Road to OWL Grand Finals Begins July 17… Today!

The Overwatch League this week announced how the Grand Finals is going to look this year.

Beginning Friday, July 17, there will be the final tournament, the Countdown Cup, in the North America and Asia regions.

Then on Thursday, September 3, the playoffs for the Grand Finals begin. These playoffs will last two weeks and initial seeding will be based on how teams did over the entire season and qualifiers, with higher seeds having advantages that may come up, such as choosing their opponents or getting byes.

At the end of the two weeks, there will be two teams from Asia and two teams from NA. After a short break of a few weeks to allow for health, safety, and travel logistics, the two NA teams are going to travel to Asia to play the final four portion of the tournament so that everyone is playing on the same server. The location hasn’t been released yet, but it will be a private LAN area.

OWL Player Changes

  • This week Spree left the Houston Outlaws after being with the team since the beginning in 2017. (link)
  • Guangzhou Charge made waves this week by signing Krystal as a two-way player. Krystal was recently released from the Hangzhou Spark after being on indefinite suspension for the past year. He was on suspension after going AWOL on the Spark last year. The company who own the Spark is also separately trying to get about $2 million (USD) in damages. The Charge said they believe in giving Krystal a second chance. (link)
  • Today Atlanta’s Babybay announced his retirement from professional Overwatch. (link)