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The Great Bamboozle or The Merry-Go-Round?

July 19, 2018

“Imma call this the merry-go-round, cuz it makes me laugh, it makes me happy!” The phrase from Mitch “Uber” Leslie was heard loud and clear throughout the Blizzard Arena in LA on July 11th as the LA Gladiators pushed first point on King’s Row against the London Spitfire. The Gladiators pulled the greatest trick play in professional Overwatch to date. On King’s Row, the Gladiators came out of spawn running the familiar GOATS comp (Reinhardt, D.va, Zarya, Lucio, Moira, Brigitte). The team rotated through hotel* all the way to the back halls* to take high ground. Meanwhile Lane “Surefour” Roberts sat in spawn on the Brigitte. When the Gladiators pushed onto the point, Surefour swapped onto the Widowmaker and picked off Ji-Hyeok “birdring” Kim and…

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Putting the “team” back in team-based shooter 

July 10, 2018

The development team at Blizzard for the popular team-based FPS Overwatch made some serious changes to the social system in the most recent patch. On June 26, a plethora of features and fixes came to the live game. Two key social features, and a rework to the infamous defense hero, Symmetra, were the highlights of the patch. The addition of an endorsement system, allowing players to reward other players for good teamwork, and the Looking for Group (LFG) system, increase the control an individual has over their gameplay experience. A few weeks after launch, I want to look at the real game changer, LFG. The LFG feature allows players to create a team of 2-6 players and queue up for games with them. The system…

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