Kickoff Clash

Finally here, the Kickoff Clash, this year’s first OWL tournament, has already begun!

This tournament is regional, with East and West divisions, and the West event is having its first in-person event since the pandemic began in Arlington, Texas. Some of my personal teammates in the region are even going and I’m loving the pics they’ve shared already.

It’s a double elimination tournament, and as of this writing no one is completely out of the tournament yet, but losers’ bracket games begin today. (Kickoff Clash brackets)

Rewards

For watching the tournament this weekend, viewers get 5 OWL tokens per hour and after 5 total hours watched, get the Home and Away OWL skins for Winston. Attendees of the event in-person can claim some OWL tokens each day, get the same skin, and get the 20 team sprays added to the game in the Remix Vol. 2 patch.

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mL7 Overwatch 2 Dev Chat

Earlier this week mL7 and SVB hosted a Dev Chat with Josh Noh, Senior Hero Designer, and Geoff Goodman, Lead Hero Designer. (YouTube)

The chat mostly covered what we saw during the first Overwatch 2 PvP beta and what the team tried there, but also got heavy talking about technical things and design philosophy. If you like behind-the-scenes looks at the process of designing Overwatch, definitely give it a watch.

A few topics included:

  • How do ranks influence viability of heroes;
  • The best way to provide feedback (hint: it’s not “delete brig”);
  • Why Genji Ledge Dash was patched out but Mercy Super Jump wasn’t;
  • Trying to give Moira a Cleanse ability like Warcraft shaman, but discovering how that could work was a massive and overly complicated rabbit hole that didn’t work.
  • And much more! The video linked above has time stamps and bookmarks so definitely check it out.

We didn’t learn a bunch of new things, but there were some tidbits.

First off, there will LIKELY not be any balance changes made to Overwatch 1 unless something major is discovered. Making balance changes to OW1 would pull resources away from Overwatch 2 and also add discussions about which changes should and shouldn’t be moved over to OW2.

Junkrat’s trap will completely immobilize targets caught in it, just like OW1. In the beta it had a small chain that allowed targets to move away slowly, we’re talking a few feet before it faded, so it wasn’t much.

For Doomfist, Geoff Goodman said they’re going to try how it feels to remove the slow effect for his Seismic Slam. If it feels bad or could be changed another way, they’ll make the adjustments.

Last they talked about how the super jump change to Mercy in the first PvP beta was an example of them using the beta as a place to test out changes that are “weird” or “out there” just to see how they feel. They’re going to try something new with it again soon where there is no button to activate the super jump, it just happens automatically if you reach your target with Guardian Angel. Just like the Doomfist change above, this is to test how it feels and may never reach the live servers.

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Miscellaneous News

  • Contenders announced that Dan McHugh, leader of the Contenders program, passed away recently. Replies on Twitter and Reddit share some stories from people who worked with him. (Twitter) (Reddit)
  • This is the last weekend to get your skins from the Anniversary Remix Vol. 2.
  • Overwatch League and Call of Duty teams are said to owe Activision Blizzard around $400 million (USD) after being offered deferred payments over for two years due to Covid. (The Jacob Wolf Report)
  • Last, the Paris Eternal name turned out to be the Paris Temporary as they are officially moving to Las Vegas in the future. (Twitter)