Yiska has framed the Overwatch League off-season changes in a relatable way, let's go shopping!

17:00, 25 Jan 2020

Off-season metaphors: OWL teams go shopping 

Most of the offseason is over and a lot has changed during it. If you haven’t kept up, you’re just paying attention to the Overwatch League now or you’re unsure how to feel about the moves, we’ve tried to frame it in a relatable way here. Let’s go shopping!

Titans order from Acme Inc. 

For most of Runaway’s history, of which Vancouver Titans seems inseparable with their roster, a top finish was as elusive as the Road Runner is to Wile E Coyote. Much like their Coyote counterpart, Vancouver has seemingly outsmarted itself, ignoring their inherent advantages and instead buying a few ‘infallible’ pieces from Acme Inc. 

Ryujehong has many accolades, though it would be shooting themselves in the foot to play him over superstar Twilight and even when targeted correctly, he might still just fire blanks and confetti. Moreover, Fissure exemplifies the ultimate Acme product. Highly impressive in concept, Fissure’s raw talent is top class, though like all Acme products, a high failure rate is expected.

Vancouver Titans order from Acme Inc.

In their ideal vision, Vancouver’s new pieces work as designed, securing them the season champion title, though most viewers eagerly await the Road Runner’s escape alongside the predictable self-implosion of OWL’s Wile E. Titans. It’s a rough road ahead for odd-season in-spirit RunAway.

Dallas Does Gamestop

The Dallas Fuel started the off-season with a roster backlog similar to a discount game bin. Plenty to play, but no options as exciting as the new releases. That said, the price labels certainly communicate “AAA title”. Luckily, like Gamestop, the Fuel accept trade-ins for last year’s hot import, swapping OGE for Decay. Furthermore, they finally took some of their 2016-17 Top games off the shelf and cleared them from the inventory to free up space. Unfortunately, at least initial scrim rumours indicate that Gamsu’s and Closer’s gameplay experience hasn’t held up in 2020.

Many other teams either run their roster building strategy like early access games, paying for future potential that ultimately more often than not falls flat, or they’re straight up shelling out top dollar for AAA titles. Dallas Fuel invested into past years AAA titles with limited replayability and paid full price. Perhaps that works on consoles, but not in the PC market. 

Uprising Pawn Stars

To huck is to haggle, and Boston’s president of gaming operates as Overwatch League’s resident pawnbroker. The Season 1 roster was built off of bargain hunting and clever scouting, leading to a strong season surpassing all expectations. Capitalizing on that success, Huk cashed in on players like Neko, Striker, and Gamsu, and rebuilt with off market talent hoping they turned into Season 2’s treasures. Some early success with Fusions debut almost culminated in a Stage 1 blockbuster deal, only to see the buyer back out at the last minute. From there, Boston swooned to the bottom of the standings, perhaps because they gave away their best restorer in Crusty.

Coming into this off-season, Uprising started wheeling and dealing with an early sale of Blasé to the Outlaws. Their fast action secured them a top level flex support when Huk moved quickly for Myunbyong, recognizing talent at that position can really provide value, while pawning off dust-collecting players like Aimgod. To fill out the roster, Boston went panning for gold, a highly coveted Mineral, hoping development makes players like Jerry, Munchkin, Swimmer, and Brussen achieve team success and also create marketable assets, since after all, everything is available for a team willing to haggle.

Valiant’s pickups are like… 

… a week’s worth of groceries from Aldi, with off-label products giving you a solid bang for your buck, stacked by highly professional and hard-working staff. Operating under a budget, a good way to save is to buy tier 2 products lacking brand recognition. Sometimes you can even buy the rest of the premium product and slap an off-brand label on it. In that regard, General Manager Mike Schwartz has replenished his shelves, moving on from established names like Agilities and Kariv to the abbreviated KS-X product line.

It is an open debate whether a gourmet is determined by the quality of the ingredients or the chef, though the Valiant hope their head chef Packing can use this budget-friendly basket to cook up a top 12 meal. If this season works out and this team can reach for Michelin stars, the head coach can elevate himself to Gordon Ramsey status. If you have the type of palate that enjoys an adventure with newly discovered ingredients, you likely won’t be let down by the Valiant. However, if it ends up being inedible…

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Paris Eternal - A Samsung company soon?

A different kind of shopping took place in Paris. After seemingly failing to woo anyone into buying their European lifestyle brand with a French touch in Season 2, the Koreans took note of an attractive investment opportunity in one of the world’s largest metropoles. While technically speaking, there are still more European players on the Eternal than Koreans, an eventual hostile takeover seems likely. After all, the entire board of directors were already replaced with former Samsung employees and the new product line that’s expected to join the team in quarters 2 & 3 respectively are build on mechanically superior technology in Hanbin and Sp9rk1e. Perhaps the investors are prepared for another underwhelming year, remaining bullish until 2021 when most of the old product line can be ejected.

The Justice buy a computer security package

“Hello! Yes, this is Smith speaking. Yes, we do have a computer but my grandson usually does that stuff… A virus?! It disguises as a software wizard? I’m sorry, I have no idea about things like this. Yeah, if you could help me it would be greatly appreciated, I don’t want my grandson to get in trouble. So what do I have to do? … Okay, I’m in the task manager. Click on “sleepy” and “end task”? No, never heard of bloatware. Okay, I did the same for the other programs written in Hangul, too. Yeah, I closed Sansam.exe by accident, is that bad? Okay, thank god. What now? Buy paysafe cards? Is that really necessary? I see, how much is it then? I must say that’s quite a lot of money for a program to fix a computer, are you sure that’s necessary? Alright, I’ll call you back when I’m back from the store.”

“Hello, thanks for calling me back, Mr. Loranger. You’re really helping us out in a pinch here and we appreciate it… Click on it? Yes, I clicked on installing aimgod.exe but some window popped up and tells me if it should be ‘quarantined’. I’m really out of my element here, I’m sorry. Yes, it said “installing Korean language package” but now it shows ‘compatibility issues’. Fine, I clicked X…. Yes, I’m entering the code from the paysafe cards now. Okay, I’m done. Mr. Loranger? Hello? Can you hear me?”

Main image via Stewart Holland for the Activision Blizzard

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