Seagull says Overwatch pros retire due to excessive balance changes

"So much changes constantly on so many different maps."

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch streamer and former Dallas Fuel professional player Brandon “Seagull” Larned talked about player retirement in the game during his Twitch stream last night.

Someone in Seagull’s chat asked why so many Overwatch players retire and Seagull tried to explain it by comparing the game’s structure and updates to those of CS:GO and of MOBAs like Dota 2 and League of Legends. In a notepad, he wrote that CS:GO has many maps and few balance changes, while MOBAs have one map and lots of balance changes.

Overwatch has many maps and many balance changes, and that demands a lot from players, he said. 

“It’s a lot harder in Overwatch, considering so much shit changes constantly on so many different maps,” Seagull said. “It makes Overwatch a big pain in the ass to figure out after balance changes because after every single balance change that occurs, it changes it on every single map, and the entire map meta is changed.”

Even though Seagull didn’t tie any specific retirements to that reason, such an explanation coming from him as a retired Overwatch League player makes sense. Overwatch has 31 heroes and 21 competitive maps divided into four types, each with their own set of optimal strategies and playstyles.

But CS:GO, for instance, has seven maps in its active competitive pool. While other games like League have 145 playable characters, balance changes don’t include all of them and players compete on a single map that receives updates once or twice a year at most.

Seagull is right about Overwatch receiving updates often, but it’s not as often as League. Big gameplay changes usually come once every two months, rarely every month, while League receives updates every two weeks. But Valve indeed updates CS:GO very few times a year, much less often than Blizzard updates Overwatch.

Since Seagull’s a former Overwatch League player, him saying that the current Overwatch update schedule is detrimental to a long-term commitment by pro players is something to keep an eye on. If Blizzard confirms this is a common complaint among players, it should be easy to fix it and make sure competitors don’t give up on the game.