Experimental Patch

A new experimental patch popped up this week, this time making changes to only Soldier: 76.

This patch changes his primary fire by removing the bullet spread, adding constant recoil, and increasing his ammo from 25 to 30.

On the changes, the developer comments said: “We’re testing some changes with Soldier: 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle that make the weapon more controlled by recoil, rather than bullet spread. Overall, this will make him better when firing in full auto, rather than controlled bursts. While recoil exists with other heroes’ weapons, these changes are intended to be impactful to gameplay, rather than establishing the “feel” of the weapon.”

Patch notes.

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OWL Commissioner Has Stepped Down

The Esports Observer reports that OWL Commissioner Pete Vlastelica has stepped down from his role. The League has not announced it officially, but they did provide a statement to the website: “Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports and Commissioner of the Overwatch League, will transition from his role in ABE to focus on new entrepreneurial ventures on behalf of Activision Blizzard, following the Overwatch League Grand Finals. He was instrumental in building the company’s esports business and driving the industry forward, and we thank Pete for his contributions and impact on our business over the last four years.”

Vlastelica replaced Nate Nanzer in May 2019 who helped establish and run the league for over 2 years.

There is no word yet on his replacement, but former commissioner Nanzer said on Twitter he thinks OWL Vice President Jon Spector should run things. I don’t know if he’d be good at the job or not, but he’s definitely much more of a face for the League than Vlastelica has been during his tenure.

Free Copies of Overwatch

This week the Boston Uprising gave away copies of Overwatch for free when users filled out a small form. The form shut down fairly quickly, presumedly after copies of the game ran out.

At the time no one was sure why the team was giving away copies of the game, but later, OWL VP Jon Spector said that all teams were going to be doing giveaways for free copies of the game or free OWL tokens soon.

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All-Stars NA and Grand Finals

All-Stars NA

The NA All-Stars event begins Saturday, October 3 at noon Pacific (7pm GMT).

If it was anything like the All-Stars Asia event last weekend, it should prove to be a great time with the fun events such as teams selecting their opponents’ heroes, Tiny Overwatch where characters grow larger the more damage they do, Widowmaker 1v1s, and the Talent Takedown.

Guxue even dressed up for the event.

The NA event will be shorter than the Asia version, with NA opting to NOT have the Genji, Winston, and Ana challenges, or the “Who is Meta?” fight.

OWL Grand Finals

Travel quarantine is finally over for the North American teams who went to Korea a few weeks ago. On Thursday, beginning at 4am Pacific / 6am Central / 11am GMT, Seoul will take on San Francisco and Philadelphia will fight Shanghai. This is the first time all season that these teams have faced each other.

Games continue on Friday, with the Grand Finals taking place on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

  • More OWL teams are beginning to drop staff, such as the London Spitfire who let go of their coaching team, and Dallas Fuel who let go of Assistant Coach Vol’Jin. It’s also rumored that London will be letting go of most, if not all, of its roster.
  • Last week’s PTR not only makes improvements to the profanity filter and elevators, but apparently also makes Grappling Hook for Wrecking Ball perform worse. YouTube - five
  • Monkey Bubble announces a chance to win part of a $3000 prize pool and Contenders Trials EU spot. (Do not need to be in EU, but the tournament is in EU region.) Details