Overwatch 2 releases on Oct. 4, and with that, the Overwatch team must adapt to the incoming game change.
The Overwatch League–known as OWL–has been playing on a beta version of Overwatch 2, so players already know that the game will be quite different from Overwatch. The sequel will replace the original game, as those servers will be taken offline. Overwatch 2 has 5v5 instead of 6v6 gameplay, cutting down one tank from the previous game. Alongside rebalanced heroes, as well as new ones like Junker Queen and Kiriko, the new game will play entirely differently from the original. Without access to the new game, computer science senior, coach and tank player Luey Salinas says that the team is preparing for the sequel by practicing their mechanics and working on their team synergy.
“We’re just focusing more on individual play, practicing on your own, reviewing your own play,” Salinas said. “And then, just getting the team to gel a little bit better. That’s been our primary focus.”
Going into the sequel, Salinas said that with the removal of a tank, damage-dealing players (known as DPS players) would get the chance to showcase their play more. However, as was evident in OWL, team play and cohesion remain more important to the overall meta, with a popular team composition being JOATS. JOATS draws inspiration from the previous GOATS team composition, which relied on coordination and space control using only tanks and healers. Salinas said that he hopes the release patch will shift the game away from this style of meta.
“I hope it’s not just another GOATS type deal,” Salinas said. “I want DPS players to shine. I would like to have for them to have more impact. So hopefully that’s not the case going into Overwatch 2, but I think that’s really gonna make it or break it for some teams … like which one has more synergy, who gels better together, who can actually solidify the meta and get it down.”
Some collegiate teams were able to start playing Overwatch 2 earlier by way of the Contenders League, including Redbird Esports. This early play time has given them the opportunity to answer the hard questions about how to transition into the new game and figure out the new meta (or strategies), but Salinas says that he isn’t worried about the disadvantage.
“We do what we can, you know, it is what it is,” Salinas said. “I’m not gonna complain or cry about it. We’ll still kick some ass, beat some teams, take some names.”