The biggest announcement to come out of Friday’s Overwatch 2 stream is the switch to five players on each team.
Game director Aaron Keller caused a stir on social media among Overwatch fans after he revealed that Overwatch 2’s competitive mode (PvP) would be 5v5.
Fans have been expressing their opinions on social media, and many fans are not happy with the change.
Nerd Street Gamers had a chance to talk with Jake “Jake” Lyon and Enrique “Joobi” Triana after the stream and got their input on the new team structure that comes with Overwatch 2.
As competitive players who are on an Overwatch League team, it isn’t surprising that the first thought that comes to their minds is how it will impact players who are in, or aspire to be in the OWL who play the tank role.
“I’ve got a real hot take. I think, for a competitive player, the reality is a very brutal one. I don’t want to sugarcoat this. No matter how this shakes out, there’s not going to be as many professional players, and the ones that are going to go are tank players,” Jake said of the impact the decision has on the OWL.
“I think it’s definitely pretty shocking that they would take this step, at least from a competitive perspective, because there’s undeniably going to be major fallout. A ton of professional players are going to drop out because there just won’t be a need for as many tank players. That can’t be overstated, how big this is, from a professional standpoint,” Jake said. “It’s pretty brutal to have this totally external thing that isn’t about your skill, negatively affect your career.”
Joobi also had a very blunt reaction to the news.
“I don’t really know what to think. First impression is I don’t like it very much, and I feel like most other players don’t like it,” Joobi said.
According to Jake, the players were not told about the change prior to it being announced. OWL players and casual players alike all heard the news at the same time.
After the announcement, the developers have opened communication with the players about their feelings on the change, which Joobi tells Nerd Street is where he got the impression that other players didn’t react positively to the change either.
“Most Overwatch League players are skeptical of what this means for the game,” Joobi said. “Personally, I really don’t like it right now. I feel like it really changes how the game works and the tank-duo dynamic. It’s going to be a weird role now, I don’t know what to think of it.”
Jake’s take on the impact the decision has on gameplay aligns with the skepticism of his fellow OWL players.
“Tank is not a popular role in the casual game, as I understand it. Maybe there are certain parts of the skill curve where [that is] not true, but as I understand it, at pretty much all levels, the tank role in the role queue is very underserved,” Jake said. “So how do you solve that? You just need less tanks to play.”
Jake also makes a good point about why he thinks the developers might have gone in this direction. “By not queuing for tanks, the players are telling the devs they don’t want to play tank. So the devs say, OK, you don’t have to play tank anymore.’”
Social media exploded with the reaction to the change
Although it is to be expected that professional players, especially tank players, might negatively react to the news of one less player on the team, casual players and fans weren’t as harsh.
Of course, some fans were not pleased with the decision, but others were happy with it or wished to give the dev team the benefit of the doubt.
Whatever the case may be, fans will have to wait quite a while before seeing the change since there is still no release date for Overwatch 2.
Lead image credit: Overwatch League