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Overwatch League Announces Stage Two Changes: Baptiste, Paris, Schedule Tweaks, More

March 19, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch League Baptiste Paris

The Overwatch League’s first stage of the 2019 season is complete, and now the league is looking ahead to stage two. The League announced on Tuesday that the second stage will feature the just-released 1.34 patch for Overwatch, meaning that new support hero Baptiste will be available in game along with a host of tweaks that aim to put the triple tank/triple support meta into the niche status that people have been calling for for some time.

The new season starts on April 4th following this week’s stage playoffs and a week off for teams to recuperate and prep for the new stage. The second stage will feature the following changes:

Map Changes

Like all stages, the new stage will feature a change in the map pool. In this case, it means that we will see the newest assault map Paris played in the OWL for the first time. The map pool will consist of:

Control: Lijiang Tower, Oasis, Busan
Assault: Paris, Temple of Anubis, Hanamura
Hybrid: Blizzard World, Eichenwalde, King’s Row
Escort: Junkertown, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Rialto

In addition to the new map pool, the order of map types played has changed. OWL teams will now play maps in the order of Control, Assault, Hybrid and Escort, switching the Assault and Hybrid maps in the play order. This is to give teams a less likely chance of a match being decided partway through map three due to a draw (which is possible on Assault, but not on Hybrid).

Hero Changes

The biggest of the hero changes, obviously, is the addition of Baptiste who was just introduced to the game today. This will be the fastest that a new hero has been added to the Overwatch League after release. Baptiste will add another major support option, and it will be interesting to see how teams utilize him.

More notably, the second stage will bring all the changes in the most recent patch, which is designed to put the so-called “GOATS” meta back in its place. It includes nerfs for heroes and elements that are essential to the triple tank/triple support composition like Lucio, Zenyatta and armor, while buffing the likes of Doomfist, Junkrat, McCree, Orisa and Wrecking Ball. The first stage of the 2019 season was, as most expected, very GOATS-heavy with the comp being used a good 80% of the time. The inclusion of Baptiste and the new patch should bring that down and make GOATS something that is specific to certain maps, instead of the default choice.

Schedule Changes

Less an actual change than a tweak to the information presented to viewers, the OWL has updated the schedules to more accurately reflect what fans can expect. The League expected that matches would take approximately ninety minutes. However, the actual typical running time is an hour and forty-five minutes. The match times on the schedule have now been updated to reflect that, which means that instead of going on at 8:30, the final game of the day for Thursdays and Fridays will start at 9:15 PM PT. The final games for Saturdays and Sundays will start at 5:15 PM PT.

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Overwatch League, Jeremy Thomas