Tom B. June 24, 2019
Is a role lock for Overwatch inevitable? One of Overwatch’s most prominent personalities seems to think so.
In a recent talk show episode, Overwatch commentator Christoper “MonteCristo” Mykles explained why he feels a role lock will inevitably be introduced into competitive Overwatch and the Overwatch League.
Such a role lock would mean teams could not pick more than two heroes of each of the game’s hero classes: tank, support and DPS. The insight was given during an episode of the Elitists United show, hosted by Duncan “Thorin” Shields.
The Overwatch League has been dominated recently by a single prominent strategy popularly referred to as GOATS, short for “go all tanks and supports.” The composition of this team is three tank champions and three support champions. Its strength is being able to stay in one place for a long time and to be almost impossible to move, as the tanks coordinate their ultimate abilities to destroy the opposing team and are kept alive by the three gathered supports.
The strategy has maintained its effectiveness even as developer Blizzard has applied nerfs to related heroes and attempted to buff those not included, while still trying not to overly affect the balance of heroes at the more casual level of play.
In other MOBAs, even with a dominant strategy is present there are often other options that are viable and could yield success. Things are different in Overwatch however, as MonteCristo explained.
“The problem is, every single map type is based around a single objective, whether its a payload or one king-of-the-hill point,” MonteCristo said.
This means that being immovable from a control point once you’ve taken it is the key to victory. The strategy is safe and consistent, but does not always lead to the most entertaining or dynamic games.
Fans in the studio have recently been heard to boo the composition upon selection. While undoubtedly requiring great skill and coordination to execute, the constant presence of GOATS has begun to annoy even devout fans who attend games live.
The Overwatch League had apparently considered implementing a role lock earlier in the current season and decided against it in May. It has also been suggested that any such measure would happen only after consultation with all of the teams in the league.