What 2-2-2 role lock means for Overwatch League
According to several rumors, Overwatch League will enforce a 2-2-2 role lock starting in Stage 4. The new rule has huge implications for the future of the esport, and will drastically change what it’s like to watch the games.
What is 2-2-2?
2-2-2, or two-two-two, is a commonly used team composition that consists of two tank heroes, two supports, and two damage heroes. This was popularized early on in Overwatch. Many people found it most efficient to have two beefy tanks to jump in and start a fight with the enemy with two damage dealers close behind. One support would provide on-the-spot healing and the other would have a powerful ultimate ability like Zenyatta’s Transcendence or Lucio’s Sound Barrier to save the team from enemy attacks.
It’s a balanced composition that is simple to understand and works well within the six versus six design of the game. This is why the Dive composition is still very popular today.
What does role lock mean?
Role lock is simply an enforcement of a certain team composition. It means that if a team already consists of 2-2-2, nobody can swap to a third hero in a given role. It keeps the teams consistent because they don’t have to ever expect a team to throw them off with swaps like a third Damage hero or a third Support — which is integral to the infamous GOATS composition.
A role lock would make Overwatch League resemble something like Chess where the pieces are relatively static and the skill arrives through play (not clever hero picks). That means that last-minute objective stall picks like a team’s Zenyatta swapping to Tracer won’t be allowed. It also means we won’t get ridiculous triple Damage compositions with a Torbjorn sitting on the payload either.
Why would they enforce it?
The answer to why Blizzard would opt to enforce 2-2-2 is pretty complicated and a lot of it is insider information that we’ll probably never know. The clearest reason is that both viewers and players are tired of seeing GOATS. A 2-2-2 role lock would eradicate GOATS completely. It would satisfy viewers who don’t want to see that composition anymore and it would satisfy players who don’t want to play it anymore.
Are there any problems with this decision?
As mentioned before, enforcing 2-2-2 means that no team can come into a game with a creative composition or swap to one to surprise the enemy team. Given what we know about professional Overwatch players, they don’t like to play compositions that they haven’t routinely practiced. You’ll likely see a new meta comp arise within the new rule. In fact, that new composition might be the Bunker composition we’ve already seen this season.
Whether or not it will make Overwatch League more exciting to watch is up to you. It’ll certainly be different than what it is now. But for anyone that has watched any esport, you know that there will always be metas to be tired of. There will also always be a team that surprises everyone with something new. With a 2-2-2 role lock, that’s less likely to happen, or at least it won’t be as groundbreaking. It’ll keep the game consistent, but it might come at a cost for the creativity that the game would otherwise offer.
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