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Everything we know about Overwatch 2 from the OWL preview

Publish Date: 28/09/2021
Fact checked by: James Leeland

At the end of the Overwatch League, we got a sneak peek at Overwatch 2. Ten players from the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Washington Justice teamed up to show off at an Overwatch 2 exhibition match during the Grand Finals.

We got to see some reworked heroes, new maps, and an early look at the future of Overwatch competitive play. So, just what have we learned in the past few days?

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Reworked Heroes

Just before the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League, we got an early look at the reworked versions of Sombra and Bastion. Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer for Overwatch 2, spoke about the changes coming to these offensive heroes.

Sombra will now be less of a crowd control hero. Her key ability, Hack, used to simply take away the abilities of heroes. That was great for creating an opening for your team, but it required them to be in close proximity. In Overwatch 2, Hack will now show the locations of the enemy team through walls. That is a lot better for a team that is more spread out and looking to do some damage. The cooldown has also been reduced and Hack no longer removes her from stealth. Her EMP was essentially just a bigger version of Hack in the original game. In Overwatch 2, it now damages enemies for up to 40% of their health.

Bastion on the other hand, has become a lot less of a tank. He can no longer use Self-Repair. That has been replaced with Tactical Grenade, a bouncing sticky grenade. His Sentry form can now move around, albeit quite slowly, and it has been put on a cooldown. His ultimate has been replaced with Artillery Strike. Similar to a drone strike in Call of Duty, the player can choose three areas on the map to be attacked by rockets from the air.

The Exhibition Match

During the Grand Finals, we got to see an exhibition match in an early build of Overwatch 2. The biggest, most obvious change was the shift to five member teams. Previously, PvP in the original Overwatch allowed six player teams. Esports teams could field two damage dealers, two supports, and two tanks. Now, teams can only field a single tank. It will be interesting to see how this changes the meta going forward.

We could already see some of the possible changes to strategies in the exhibition match. Competitors who specialised in Tanks, suddenly had a lot more work on their hands. The lack of a second tank on the team meant that they had to be a lot more agile.

We also got to see a new game mode, Push. It looks like a speedier version of escort. The designers wanted to force fights all around the map rather than at designated locations. The teamwork required for this new mode could inspire new line ups and strategies outside of the established Overwatch meta. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Overwatch 2 esports!

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