The change in format for the 2022 OWL season has some players excited, while others are anxious.
Esports.GG recently spoke to multiple members of the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion. This final part of the three-part series focuses on Overwatch 2‘s impending arrival to the league. Part 1 focused on the final match against Seoul that got them into the 2021 OWL playoffs, while Part 2 was all about the Fusion’s expectations for those playoffs…expectations that ultimately fell short.
Note: All quotes in this piece were provided as answers to questions emailed to the team. Answers from some players were translated to English for use in this piece.
Making The Change to Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 will bring with it a lot of changes, most notably the shift from 6v6 to 5v5. That’s a major focus for many of the Fusion players, with the opinion on the change mostly mixed.
Hitscan DPS and de facto team leader Carpe finds himself both excited and anxious about the change, seeing it as both a blessing and a curse. “I am excited that it might feel like a new game because of 5v5, but I’m also worried that the current users of Overwatch 1–who love 6v6–might not be happy with it.”
Other players seem less worried about the change, with support FunnyAstro saying it “will be refreshing to play a new game” while fellow support Alarm told us he’s excited but also added, “I hope it’s fun.”
Fellow damage player sHockWave thinks it’s too early to talk about any new 5v5 meta, but overall he’s not worried about it. “I’m always excited for something new,” the flex damage player said. “I think that the fact the OWL players are able to somewhat playtest it and hopefully help balance it will be a crucial part of its success.”
The End Of The Dual-Tank Era
The change to 5v5 will eliminate one tank from the lineup, meaning teams will have two damage heroes, two support heroes, and a single tank. The dual-tank strategies that OW fans have grown used to will be hard for them to leave behind, the Fusion included.
“I’m gonna miss some of the tank strategy,” FunnyAstro admits. “I think it’s really fun at the moment where there are these sort of ‘identities’ that tank duos have, like double shield or double dive tank.” He’s hoping for a lot of support/DPS combos to emerge in OW2 because, as he puts it, the game is “more interesting when there are strong synergies.”
sHockWave also admits he’ll miss some of the current metas, but he understands why the change was made. “Right now tanks are too impactful while also being the least played role,” he says, “so hopefully we will be able to balance it well.” Meanwhile Alarm is excited for 5v5, as “personally I can show more gameplays where I can carry” after the change.
The Overwatch 2 Wish List
We wrapped the discussion by asking the team about features or abilities they’d like to see in Overwatch 2. Carpe did not provide us an answer. Alarm meanwhile proposed the idea of a healer that could fly at all times, like Mercy’s Valkyrie ult. FunnyAstro, expectedly, asked for more Lucio buffs, saying he “hopes [Lucio] is still good in the new meta.”
sHockWave had the most to say, focusing his answer on the game’s overall balance. He’s hoping OW2 feels such that “every role has a lot of impact” as right now some heroes or roles “seem a lot less impactful than others.”
“I’ve read that apparently they’re nerfing [crowd control] and trying to focus on making it more of a FPS game,” he said, “which I think is awesome.” However, he is hesitant to get fully on board with the idea, saying he hopes the change “doesn’t ruin the unique part about Overwatch being a mix of game genres.”
With the exhibition of Overwatch 2 coming during the 2021 Overwatch League Grand Finals, we’ll get our first taste of what the new era of OWL looks like very soon. For more on OWL 2021 check out our coverage of both Grand Finals teams, the Shanghai Dragons and the Atlanta Reign.