Blizzard is reportedly planning to forcibly abolish the Overwatch League’s restrictive GOATS meta. Former pro player Baek ‘Fissure’ Chan-hyung stated that a change will take effect in time for the start of the fourth stage of the ongoing esports competition.
Fissure certainly made quite an impression in the Overwatch League Season One, helping to lift Los Angeles Gladiators up the rankings after transferring from London Spitfire earlier in the season. For Season Two, he moved to Seoul Dynasty, but yesterday announced that he would be retiring from professional play.
Seeing as he’s not in the League anymore, it would seem Fissure doesn’t think he needs to be bound by its secrets. During a stream last night (via Dexerto, translated by LeoLuckLee on Reddit), the former player told viewers that “I’m retired now so I’ll say it. Next stage, stage 4, 2-2-2 lock is decided.” If Fissure’s statement is true, that means that the GOATS composition – which has dominated professional Overwatch recently – will soon be no more.
GOATS requires teams to run three tanks and three supports, relying less on damage and more on crowd-control to wipe out the enemy team. It’s an effective strategy, but it’s so effective that it’s caused the meta to stagnate, and many viewers find the strategy boring to watch.
A 2-2-2 system would change things up significantly, forcing teams to run two tanks, two DPS, and two supports at all times. It would help specialist DPS players get back to their original roles, and could make competitive balance easier, as it would be harder for teams to stray from the assigned meta. My concern, however, would be keeping the evolving state of the game healthy in that situation – meta is important, but some of esports’ most thrilling moments stem from innovation.
Blizzard has previously shot down rumours around a 2-2-2 lock, but as GOATs continues to play a major part in the League, it’s possible that the company may have now changed its mind. Either way, we’ll likely need to wait until Stage 4 begins to find out.
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