The double-shield meta has dominated competitive Overwatch for quite some time but it could soon be coming to an end according to new insight from San Francisco Shock’s Matthew ‘Super’ DeLisi.
Blizzard has been releasing balance updates quite frequently throughout 2020 though the biggest change yet appears to be on the horizon. While the double shield meta has remained atop the food chain for much of the year, it appears to be crashing down soon.
Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan recently confirmed that double shield nerfs are the “most immediate priority,” during a July 30 Reddit AMA. The development team has been tight-lipped on the matter since. However, these nerfs now appear to be right around the corner.
Main Tank veteran and Genji specialist, Super let slip a few key details during an August 9 Twitch stream. Supposedly, Blizzard has been in talks with top Overwatch League talent of late. Not only that, but double shield changes are confirmed to land ahead of the playoffs.
“We’re in the Overwatch League Discord and we’re talking to the devs… they basically said double shield is pretty resident sleeper,” he outlined. This comment may not have been a direct quote from those on the dev team, though more information was soon provided.
In order to address the current meta, one that many consider to be somewhat stale – including the devs, according to Super – bold new changes are on the way. “We want to make a meta that is going to be exciting and fun to watch,” he paraphrased.
There’s no telling exactly what these changes might look like but nerfing shield-heavy characters will certainly shake things up. Perhaps heroes like Orisa and Sigma will scaled back a notch, or maybe shields as a whole will be tweaked. The door is wide and Kaplan confirmed that the community will be able to test these changes through an Experimental Card.
Super revealed back in February that OWL players were now being consulted by devs. Now it looks like their feedback is being taken into consideration. Overwatch could be balanced with competitive viewership in mind moving forward. This means more explosive eliminations in OWL and less stagnant team fights.
“We have to see how it’s going to play out, that’s basically what was said,” Super concluded. While there’s no date locked in for this experimental nerf to come through, we do have a rough idea. OWL players were informed that the change would be released in time for the playoffs which kick off on September 3.
A number of Experimental Cards haven’t made it through to the live game recently. Given this, Blizzard should be leaving a decent amount of time to make changes ahead of the OWL postseason. Therefore, it’s safe to expect double shield nerfs to arrive within the next fortnight.