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Developer Update… Technically

Aaron from the Overwatch team released his first Developer Update this week, taking the time to announce two events that are coming up over the next two weeks.

LIVESTREAM

Next week on Thursday, May 20, a livestream hosted by Mr. X and Uber will spend two hours talking about changes being implemented to PvP around Overwatch 2. The stream will include people from the Overwatch team showing off some off the new maps while talking about their thinking behind upcoming changes. Both Cuppcaake and Stylosa will also be making appearances on the stream as well. Based on what we know about Overwatch 2 so far, these PvP changes will also affect Overwatch 1 at some point in the future.

The following is the full text of the livestream announcement:

We’ve been working hard on Overwatch 2, and we’d like to share some of what we’ve been doing with all of you. In the past when we’ve talked about Overwatch 2, we’ve focused a lot on the co-op and story side of the game, but PvP is at the core of what makes Overwatch feel so special. So on May 20, the Overwatch and Overwatch League teams will be putting together a livestream where we’re talk more about the PvP side of the game. I’ll be joined by Geoff Goodman, Dion Rogers, and others from the development team as we play through new maps and talk about some of the philosophy behind changes coming to Overwatch 2’s PvP.

Now just to set expectations, everything that we’ll be showing is under development and still a work in progress, and we will be talking more about Overwatch 2’s PvP later in the year, so there’s still more to come.

AMA

In celebration of the fifth anniversary of Overwatch, the development team is holding an AMA on the Overwatch subreddit on Monday, May 24. This is an opportunity to ask Blizzard employees about the past five years of the game.

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Overwatch League News

May Melee Champions: Dallas Fuel!

Last weekend West Division teams Shanghai Dragons and Chengdu Hunters faced off against East Division teams Florida Mayhem and Dallas Fuel to conclude the first tournament of the 2021 season. In the end, the Dallas Fuel bested the Shanghai Dragons 4-2 and were crowned the victors.

This was a momentous occasion for the Fuel, who have had a very tough time in the Overwatch League since the start of the Inaugural Season. Their highest achievement in all that time was finishing in 3rd/4th in the Stage 4 finals that first year, a ranking that earned them no extra prize money.

If you want to see a 3:24 recap of the weekend, check out this video put out by the Overwatch League.

June Joust

The June Joust, affectionately titled the June Journament by fans, kicks off next Friday, May 21, with Paris Eternal versus the Toronto Defiant. This tournament also introduces the recent patch that went to live servers where Baptiste’s healing was changed to reward direct hits, Roadhog damage is up, and baby D.Va can squish enemies harder with her Call Mech ultimate.

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Hero Pool Returns to OWL

The Hero Pools have returned for the June Joust qualifiers and tournament. Any hero who had a 10% or more pick rate for the May Melee were eligible to be banned, and heroes may only be banned once an entire season. For June, the ineligible heroes are:

  • Damage: Tracer and Sombra
  • Tank: Reinhardt
  • Support: Zenyatta

Many fans were disappointed at the news after the excitement of the May Melee and just how varied comp line-ups were overall, and the Overwatch League states that the bans are intended to help match diversity. Putting a cooler head on the subject, ZP shared his thoughts about the Hero Pools saying on Twitter:

“Historically, no meta in Overwatch stays diverse forever. Not doing hero pools now would probably have meant not doing them all season long. Then the odds of the meta being ultra stagnant come playoff time would have been incredibly high.”

“If you want the good of breaking up really bad metas (which hero pools do quite well), it does come with the cost of sometimes breaking up a great meta before it’s completely run it’s course.”

Miscellaneous

  • Dallas Fuel signs Pine (Dallas Fuel Twitter)
  • The Mei Gala aired this week, showcasing some fantastic cosplay and interviews with the highlighted cosplayers talking about their builds. (YouTube)
  • OWL and CDL to allow gambling and alcohol sponsors (Esports Observer)