Jul 1 2016 - 6:35 pm

Hero Stacking and No Vetoes: Overwatch Atlantic Showdown Qualifiers

ESL has opted to base the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown format on the newly released competitive format. Here is clarification on how the qualifiers will go.
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On June 6, ESL announced that it would host the first international Overwatch LAN at gamescom in Cologne, Germany and has recently posted about the format of the qualifiers in July.

During the month of July, ESL will host the online qualifiers for America and Europe. The top eight teams will travel to gamescom, with all expenses paid, to compete in the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown on August 20-21.

Compared to other tournaments, it seems that the matches will be conducted in a variety of different of ways. Perhaps it will just lead to more confusion of how Overwatch tournaments should be conducted, but there is a silver lining to that discussion.

ESL posted that it and Blizzard Entertainment feel that teams should be able to have whatever combination of heros as possible. That means there will be no hero bans, which follows other tournaments, but there will also be the opportunity to stack heros.

This perhaps is a problem for some players, though there has been emphasis on strategically picking team compositions to best opponents through the last few tournaments. Will there be teams that run five Winstons and a Lucio? That will most likely happen, but that does not take away from Overwatch professionals who focus on building a skillset with particular heroes and team composition.

Another notable change in tournament format compared to other providers’ formats is the map pool. Every week, ESL will swap out the six maps with at least one from each type (Escort, Assault, Hybrid and Control).

In the matchups, there will be a predetermined map up first and the losing team will pick the next map until the best-of-three or best-of-five is completed.

This is an interesting take on map choices, because typically in a tournament, maps would be banned out and the final three or five maps would be chosen by whoever did not pick the last map. It is also important to emphasize that no maps will be banned out.

There have been mixed reviews on the way that tie breakers work on the Payload, Assault and Hybrid maps in the new competitive mode, but ESL has posed an interesting solution. The teams will collect their points and the team with the least total points will pick the next arena. If the teams are tied still, a coin toss will decide who picks the next map.

If there is a point tie at the end of a series, then there will be a final best-of-three on a pre-picked Control point map.

These rules take care of any mixed feelings about the way tie breakers work in Overwatch currently. Jeff Kaplan, game director and vice president of Blizzard as well as lead of Overwatch, talked about the coin flip and the way tie breakers would be changed in season two.

There are separate sign ups for the European and American qualifiers if you are interested.


How do you feel about the setup of the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown qualifiers? Let us know in the comments your thoughts. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @GAMURScom to keep up with esports news and live coverage.

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