Season 27 Competitive Mode Delayed

Yesterday the new season was supposed to begin, but when the rollover happened, something broke on Blizzard’s end. Instead of being able to do Season 27 placements, the competitive mode was broken, only displaying a large 0 on the mode’s button in the game menus.

After a few hours of investigation, Blizzard representatives announced they could not fix the issue right away and they were going to extend Season 26. They added that they hope to be able to start the season this coming Tuesday, March 9.

This change comes with a few notes from Blizzard:

  • The competitive card will read that it ends in less than a minute until Tuesday.
  • If you logged in during the outage and received your Season 26 bonus competitive points, you will not receive any end-of-season ranking bonus on Tuesday, even if you increase in rank threshold over the next few days. Non-consumable rewards such as player icons will still be awarded if you reach them.
  • The leaderboard has been re-enabled.

For us at Overbuff, things are going to look weird on profiles for the weekend. We had advanced our system to be Season 27 when Blizzard announced the season start and cannot roll it back. When building the system, we never imagined that Blizzard would need to rollback to a previous season, and therefore did not build the functionality to be able to rollback our system.

Until the actual Season 27 begins, stats and rankings might look funny on your profile and there is not much we can do about that, sorry!

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Experimental Makes Balance Changes to Mei, Reaper, and Others

This week’s experimental patch is a balance patch for six different heroes.

  • Genji - Shiruken damage “increased” by allowing him to fire faster; and Dragon Blade ultimate cost up to make up for the potential extra damage.
  • Mei - The self-healing from her ice block has greatly increased.
  • Pharah - The regeneration of her Hover Jets has increased.
  • Reaper - The damage of each pellet from his shotgun fire has slightly increased.
  • Sigma - He can now re-cast his barrier slightly faster, but still much slower than he could a few months ago.
  • Zarya - Her energy fades slightly faster.

Genji’s changes are intended to help him have more of an impact on the game outside of his ultimate. The Mei self-healing increase is to make up for healers no longer being able to target her while she is in her ice block. Pharah’s Hover Jet change allows her to reach higher heights on maps. The recent increase to Sigma barrier re-cast proved to be too effective so they are toning it back a tad. Finally, Zarya has been maintaining too much power between team fights and so the slight increase to her energy fade should keep her average energy down slightly.

The full experimental patch notes and developer notes can be found here.

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Contenders 2021 Update

Further changes to the Contenders 2021 seasons were revealed this week.

  • NA and EU - Contenders Trials will be run between every other Contenders tournament, meaning any team that made it to Contenders will play in at least two tournaments before the potential of returning to Trials. Trials in these regions begin “very soon,” but for whatever reason, the date has not been announced anywhere that I can find it. Contenders itself begins March 29 so presumably before that.
  • South Korea - Stage groups will play an inter-group match to help determine seeds and rankings. The tournaments will be in the stepladder format, meaning the bottom seed plays the next bottom seed. The winner of that match plays the next highest seed, and so on. In the end, it would mean the #1 seed would only play one match, with lower ranked teams playing more and more the higher they reach. SK Contenders begins March 15.
  • China - The number of teams has been reduced from 12 to 8 in an effort to increase match quality. The number of Trials events has been reduced from 4 to 2 and the Group Stage begins on March 24.
  • Australia - The number of teams has been reduced from 8 to 6. The Season begins next week on march 11.

Lastly, the viewer rewards continue to get Contenders skins. In March you can get the Bastion skin for 7 hours of watching, and Reinhardt for 15 hours. You’ll have to watch on the Overwatch League website to get these.

Miscellaneous

  • OWL VP Jon Spector discussed the latency of OWL when players game from around the world. First they ran tests and surveyed players, finding that players did not report “major” issues until around 120ms. They rolled out more OWL servers into more regions and with the new “minimum latency” options, they can force latency for teams who have a faster connection than their opponents. Right now the highest expected setting needed is about 90ms, with most being between 40 and 70ms.
  • The SteelSeries Invitational this past weekend ended with LA Gladiators defeating Boston Uprising in the final round. Paris Eternal and London Spitfire were both knocked out earlier in the small tournament, losing to the final teams.
  • Aspen reached rank #1 in competitive mode last week, making her the first woman to do so. Grats!