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Published on 2018-05-09 06:00 PM

Stage 3 ended not with a bang but with a couple of 3-0 whimpers. The New York Excelsior secured another Stage title, this time beating the Boston Uprising, who prior to the Stage finals sported an impressive 10-0 record. But the Uprising’s swift defeat wasn’t the only surprise of Stage 3’s final week, come check out the rest of the action.

Week 5 Day 1

Match of the Day

Houston Outlaws vs. San Francisco Shock

This match started dead even. It was 1-1 at the half, with both teams playing extremely well. The DPS duel between the Outlaws’ Linkzer and the Shock’s Architect was also evenly matched, neither really gaining the upper hand over the other. Same for the following two matches. So where did this go right for the Shock and wrong for the Outlaws?

Hard to say exactly, though it was likely Houston being unable to answer Architect on Pharah and Sombra on Oasis.

As the League advances to its final Stage it’s going to get harder and harder to call matches. Upsets like this one are going to become more common. Everyone’s improving across the board, from New York to Shanghai. For this match and many more to come it’s going to be very difficult to pinpoint what gave the winning team the edge.

Week 5 Day 2

Match of the Day

Boston Uprising vs. Los Angeles Valiant

Boston at this point was still on their perfect run, gunning for their 9th Stage win in an already amazing 13 game winning streak. Boston, as is their frustrating wont, went up 2-0 at the half before LA clawed back to even it up 2-2.

But tiebreaker map Oasis could have gone either way. Up until the last point, this could have been anybody’s game and it was very nearly LA’s. A last minute stall out from the Valiant featuring some very clutch recovery plays from Space’s D.Va and Agilities on Doomfist, won LA the second point, tying up the map 1-1 and making the last point for everything. Again, the Valiant displayed some excellent recovery skills, wresting control of the point from the Uprising, building up the percentage meter to go into sudden death. But Mistakes on Sombra hacked Boston’s way to victor,y finally closing out the map at the last possible moment. If Boston wants to be the kind of team that beats London and New York consistently, they’re going to have to put an end to these skin of the teeth wins no matter how exciting (stressful) they are to watch.

Week 5 Day 3

Match of the Day


In choosing today’s match of the day, I wanted to say all of them and I want to say none of them. Every match something important happened but it wasn’t quite important enough to merit MotD honors.

Boston beat the Los Angeles Gladiators 3-1, the last hurdle they needed to clear to achieve their perfect 10-0 stage.

The Shanghai Dragons yet again proved they deserve to stick around by taking a map off New York. They haven't won a single game but they also haven't been swept in six games. #fireon

The Soul Dynasty, eliminated from the playoffs, decided to get funky with their team compositions. They replaced main tank mainstay Miro with their support specialist Ryujehong, befuddling everyone including their opponents London, but not enough to take the win.

Week 5 Day 4

Match of the Day

Seoul Dynasty vs. Houston Outlaws

Nothing is as freeing in the last week of Stage play as being one of the teams not going to the stage finals. Seoul and Houston were both such teams. But both teams are still in solid contention for the playoffs and with Stage 4 and the end of the season looming, neither team can afford to take it easy...but they don’t necessarily have to go so hard, either. They can afford to get weird.

Enter the Seoul Dynasty. They’ve had a rough up and down season, with this stage being their worst at 5-5. So since whatever they were doing wasn’t working for them, they decided to try something different.

They put Support player and shotcaller Ryujehong on main tank. And….he crushed it. Sorta.

They ran this the game before against London and it almost worked. The match went to stage five before London shut it down on Oasis. After trying and losing you’d think they’d put the main tank matter to bed and put Zunba back in but against Houston it finally clicked. The Outlaws did not know what hit them, and because part of winning in Overwatch is catching your opponent way off guard (and hoping that opponent doesn’t switch up strategies to counter) the Dynasty won. Handily.

I don’t know if Ryuje-tank will still be a thing in Stage 4, but if the stage break scrims continue to yield good results he might.

The Finals

The Stage 3 finals played a little bit differently from Stages 1 and 2. Teams are now competing for the top four spots and the automatic bye for the top team is gone, replaced with the ability for the top team to choose their semi-finals opponent. Changing the format and opening up an extra playoff berth was supposed to inject a little more drama and give us more of the high quality Overwatch we’ve come to expect in stage finals play.

And we got that...but not the way we wanted.

Stage 3 was lousy with map five games, 22 in all versus 16 for Stage 1 and 15 for Stage 2. So it’s a little sad and anti-climactic that this Stage ended the way it did. Boston and New York were just too strong. They overwhelmed their semi-finals opponents before facing each other in a match that ended up just as one sided.

If you want a lesson in playing the long game, examine all of New York’s Stage 3 performances. They still dominated, but it was a softer, gentler domination that led to a lot of 3-2 games and their only loss suffered at the right clicks of Boston. But when it was finals time, the switch flipped and New York unleashed the full force of their power on the Valiant and the Uprising.

Boston played the same way they had that carried them 10-0. Striker busted tanks and NotE pulled off Self-Destructs that would impress D.Va bomb King and Queen Poko and Geguri. But with Pine locking down Agilites, Jjonak on Zenyatta acting as a third DPS who can occasionally heal, and Saebyeolbe on some otherworldly levels of support killing, Boston was simply overwhelmed.

However, despite spoiling the dream of a perfect Stage, one thing Boston has that New York doesn’t is the prestige of being the only team in the League with a perfect stage record.

Final Thoughts

Stage 3 is done and dusted. Despite a rocky start with a lot of player drama and a finish that left a lot to be desired, Stage 3 saw the improvement of the game overall. Every Stage has seen the rankings ebb and flow, the only constant being New York, so I’m excited to see what new teams will take the top spots. Teams are getting better, evolving alongside a meta that will change again with the addition of Brigitte next stage, and that might force teams to rethink everything they know about comps and strategies.

Stage 4 will be all about the playoffs, the last chance for teams to secure one of the top six slots to advance. Expect ferocious games out of the Gladiators and the Outlaws, the two teams sitting on the outside of the top 6 with the best chance of stealing one of those coveted spots.

If the break has you bummed out, don’t sweat. North American and European Contenders hold their Grand Finals next week May 11th-12th. It’s the perfect pick-me-up to tide you over until Stage 4 starts May 16th. See you then!

Ash, the first of her name, keeper of Zenyatta lore, protector of Hanzo mains and Mother of Shanghai Dragons, is a content writer for the Overwatch section of MMO-C and Gamepedia.
by Published on 2018-05-09 02:25 AM

BCRF Mercy Skin Live
Overwatch has released a special Mercy skin today to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. From now until May 21, you can purchase this skin in game for $15, 100% of which goes towards the BCRF. You can also purchase it from the official website.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

We believe in creating a better world, and as part of that mission we’ve teamed up with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to release a special charity skin in Overwatch: PINK MERCY!

Available for purchase in-game and online through May 21, all sales of this limited-time legendary skin will benefit BCRF and their mission to end breast cancer.

But this isn’t the only way to show your support! We’ve also created a limited-edition Pink Mercy charity shirt, unleashed a unique collection of Pink Mercy sprays and player icons you can get as Twitch Drops, and rallied an epic team of Overwatch content creators to stream for the cause.

BE A HERO - Learn more about the Pink Mercy Skin
WEAR FOR AWARENESS - Learn more about the Pink Mercy Shirt
REP FOR RESEARCH - Learn more about Pink Mercy cosmetics
CHAMPIONING THE CAUSE - Learn more about Pink Mercy charity streams
SPREAD AWARENESS - Learn more about Pink Mercy emotes on Twitch

As a brilliant scientist and the guardian angel of Overwatch, Dr. Angela Ziegler—codename Mercy—has dedicated her life to helping and healing others. Now you can help BCRF work toward a cure for breast cancer by purchasing the new PINK MERCY skin, available for a limited time on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Blizzard Entertainment will donate 100% the proceeds that it receives from all Pink Mercy skin sales to BCRF, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 (USD). The total donation amount will be disclosed after the campaign concludes on May 21. Please visit our shop page for more details.

Show your support on and off the battlefield with a new, limited-edition Pink Mercy charity shirt.

Designed by community artist VICKISIGH, 100% of the proceeds from these t-shirt sales will be donated to BCRF. Head over to the Blizzard Gear Store to learn more and pre-order yours today!

Log in to Overwatch any time between May 8 and May 21 and unlock a BCRF-themed player icon!

We've also partnered with community artist ONEMEGAWATT to create a series of themed Twitch Drops, including a new player icon and four all-new sprays. Available only during this event, you can earn these special Pink Mercy cosmetics by viewing select streams on Twitch during the two-week promotional period.

IMPORTANT: To be eligible to receive Pink Mercy Twitch Drops you must first link your Blizzard account to your Twitch account. Visit the Twitch Connections page to log in and complete the link now.

Pink Mercy Twitch Drops will be available May 8–21 on select Twitch channels—see the full list of participating channels below. For more information on Twitch Drops, click here.

Over the next 14 days, a cadre of content creators from across the globe will be streaming Overwatch under the pink-ribboned banner of breast cancer research. On designated days, each creator will host a dedicated charity stream on Twitch, and all donations (including Twitch Bits) received during that specific stream will be sent to BCRF.

Check out the schedule below to see who’s participating and when their charity streams will be live:

May 8 (11:00am - 7:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/QueenE
May 9 (8:00am - 2:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/cuppcaake
May 10 (starts 4:00am PDT): https://twitch.tv/flowervin
May 11 (6:00am - 12:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/RikuRikuRiku
May 12 (7:00pm - 11:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/fleeur
May 13 (9:00am - 3:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/elspeth
May 14 (11:00am - 4:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/esl_alphacast
May 15 (5:00pm - 11:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/kidkerrigan
May 16 (4:00pm - 8:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/lolirot
May 17 (2:00am - 6:00am PDT): https://twitch.tv/angel20739
May 18 (6:00am - 2:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/HALtv
May 19 (11:00am - 4:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/marvellous_li
May 20 (12:00am - 4:00am PDT): https://twitch.tv/rudeism
May 21 (8:00am - 4:00pm PDT): https://twitch.tv/emongg

In addition to streaming for charity, these channels will also have Pink Mercy Twitch Drops enabled any time they stream Overwatch from May 8 to May 21. See above section for details.

And last but not least: Don't forget to show you care with a little flair! Through May 21, amp up awareness for the cause on Twitch with our BCRF- and Pink Mercy-themed global emotes!

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)’s mission is to advance the world’s most promising research to eradicate breast cancer. For more information about BCRF, visit bcrf.org.
by Published on 2018-05-08 05:26 AM

Overwatch League News & Highlights - Stage 3 Playoffs
Overwatch League continues to advance towards a champion with the Stage 3 playoffs!

Gibraltar Design Timelapse
David Adams shared a timelapse of the design of Gibraltar on Twitter recently!
by Published on 2018-05-03 08:23 PM

Advanced Brigitte Guide
Today we are taking a look at a Brigitte guide!

Overwatch Patch Notes – May 3, 2018
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A new patch is now live on PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes.

To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum
For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum.
For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum.

Patch Highlights

New Escort Map: Rialto
Rialto was home to Talon agent Antonio Bartalotti’s sprawling estate and the backdrop to the infamous “Venice Incident,” a turning point for Overwatch and Talon. The Italian government has taken great steps to preserve Venice, and the results are striking. Tourists visiting this picturesque town can sample the regional cuisine, enjoy a relaxing gondola ride, visit Galleria D’arte Omnica, or simply take in the sights with a stroll along the canal.

Hero Updates

  • Shield Bash
    • Cone angle reduced from 90 to 60

Developer Comments: When fighting against Brigitte, it often felt like Shield Bash was able to hit players who felt like they were out of its range and should have dodged it. On the flip side, when playing as Brigitte sometimes players would hit the wrong enemy in the middle of a fight. With the cone being reduced, the ability is more accurate to its visual representation.

  • Deflect
    • Hitbox size has been reduced

Developer Comments: The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.

  • Storm Bow
    • Projectile speed increased from 85 to 100
  • Sonic Arrow
    • Cooldown decreased from 20 seconds to 12 seconds
    • Duration decreased from 10 seconds to 6 seconds
    • Radius decreased from 10 meters to 7 meters
  • New Abilities
    • Lunge
      • Press jump while in the air to leap horizontally
    • Storm Arrows
      • Replaces his existing Scatter Arrow ability
      • Hanzo can now rapidly fire up to 6 arrows that deal reduced damage but are always fired at full power

Developer Comments: The goal of these Hanzo changes is to allow him to have new options and maintain his high damage output, while removing the frustration of fighting against the old Scatter Arrow. Hanzo is now much more mobile with his new Lunge ability, and with the combination of the bow projectile speed increase and the new Storm Arrows ability he can now deal his high damage more consistently than ever before.

  • Frag Launcher
    • Projectile size decreased from 0.3 to 0.2
  • RIP-Tire
    • Tire movement speed decreased from 13 to 12

Developer Comments: These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.

  • Wall Ride
    • Wall riding is less likely to be interrupted along a single surface
    • Can now go around corners (both outside corners, and inside corners) without having to leave the wall
    • Can now land back on the same wall after leaping away, provided his leap takes him far enough away from the original jumping off point
    • Added a minimum time that the jump key must be held before Lúcio can ride around corners
  • Soundwave
    • No longer consumes ammo
    • Can now be used while reloading

Developer Comments: Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.

  • Pulse Bomb
    • Max damage decreased from 400 to 300

Developer Comments: Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.

Game Browser and Custom Games

  • Mercy’s Regeneration (passive ability) can now be turned off in Custom Game settings
  • Settings for Hanzo’s Lunge and Storm Arrow abilities can now be found in the Custom Game settings

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused the option “Invite to a Custom Game” to appear while in the Tutorial and Practice Range
  • Fixed a bug that prevented oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers in spawn rooms from propelling after taking damage

  • Fixed a bug that prevented training bots from returning to their original position and behavior after being hit with an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Soundwave)
  • Fixed a bug that caused bots to use the wrong route when tracking down the player if their target jumped off a ledge
  • Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck on the siege tank in the StarCraft area of Blizzard World

Game Browser and Custom Game
  • Fixed a bug that caused custom game invites to persist on the invitee’s screen

  • Fixed a bug that prevented Bastion’s Zwing Zwing Zwing voice line from playing if the Null Sector skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Brigitte from using abilities or Rocket Flail while her Repair Pack was in flight
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s melee attack from making sound effects
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s golden weapon variant from displaying its golden sheen when some skins were equipped
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-TIRE to be immune to the freeze effects of Mei’s Endothermic Blaster
  • Fixed a bug that caused Junkrat’s RIP-Tire to spawn inside of walls
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to move around while caught in Junkrat’s Steel Trap
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to travel straight up using Wall Ride
  • Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio to lose movement speed if he landed on a wall from certain angles
  • Fixed a bug that prevented crowd control abilities from affecting Resurrect (e.g. McCree’s Flashbang)
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s flask from displaying in her Erlenmeyer victory pose when an Overwatch League skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns to float when previewing his Dance emote in Hero Gallery
  • Fixed a bug that caused the camera to not focus correctly when viewing Roadhog’s Mug Shot victory pose
  • Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to float during his Footsteps highlight intro
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the laser sight from Sombra’s Machine Pistol golden variant from tapering at its end if her Talon skin equipped
  • Fixed a bug that caused Widowaker’s HUD to disappear if she used Widow’s Kiss while looking through the scope
  • Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Symmetra’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
  • Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Torbjörn’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
  • Fixed a bug that caused the game to stutter during Tracer’s Recall when playing above 60 FPS

  • Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck walking into the side of the Rikimaru Ramen Shop on Hanamura
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets in unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Fixed a bug that caused the pig head on the bike to float after the bike had been destroyed in Junkertown
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets and Symmetra’s Teleporter in unintended locations in Junkertown

Upcoming PTR Patch - Brigitte Nerf and Ana Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Hi. Sorry for not posting in awhile. This is the first time I’ve had time to check the forums all week. As you know, we have some changes patching in to the game today (Rialto PvP, Hanzo Storm Arrow, Brigitte shield adjustment). We also have a PTR deploy that we’re hoping to get up by the end of the week (originally it was scheduled for earlier this week but some bugs came up that were critical to fix so we held on to it). We expected the PTR w/ patch notes to go live so therefore were less concerned with communicating via forums and/or social and were surprised when it did not go live.

The PTR build (when it goes live) has some balance adjustments. The max armor from Brigitte’s ultimate is down from 150 to 100. We’re also discussing some other changes that might make it onto the PTR when it goes live or might go live next week (if at all).

We were trying some interesting things with Ana as well. I’m not sure which of the changes (if any) will make it on to this PTR cycle (some of the changes required new tech so we need to keep testing before rushing something out). Please interpret that as: we’re interested in making some minor improvements to Ana but they may or may not make this PTR cycle. We’re also looking closely and Brigitte and we are reading and appreciative of the feedback.

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