It wasn’t a major upset to see the second-seeded Harrisburg University Storm take home the Collegiate Esports Championship Overwatch trophy. Most thought the tournament would be won by either the Storm or Maryville University, with one-seed Maryville as tournament favorites going into a semifinal matchup with Harrisburg. Yet the Storm’s win against the Saints, and the compositions they ran to beat Maryville and finals opponent University of Utah, said a surprising amount about the current state of collegiate Overwatch. Here are a few takeaways from this weekend. GOATS isn’t always the answer (in collegiate) On Sunday, the Overwatch League Stage 2 finals pitted the two best triple-tank, triple-support teams in the league against each other in the San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. That same day, the CEC finals saw the University of Utah’s bunker compositions, which feature Bastion, Baptiste and Orisa combinations, go head-to-head with Harrisburg University’s triple DPS setup.
An ongoing discussion at all levels of competitive Overwatch is whether competitors have to play triple-triple (GOATS) and when it’s absolutely necessary. Do you have to play it in the Overwatch League? Yes: Even the Chengdu Hunters have had to put Wrecking Ball extraordinaire Ding “Ameng” Menghan on Reinhardt and play triple-triple. Do you have to play it at the Contenders level? Again, yes, but players have a bit more leeway to experiment. Do you have to play it on ladder? Probably not: Most solo players, even in the Grandmaster ranks, don’t have that same amount of coordination. This weekend, the best triple-triple teams in the tournament were pushed aside for DPS-heavy “GOATS-breaker” compositions and bunker compositions that made the most of player flexibility and specific skill. In fact, Utes team captain Austin “CoolABC” Walch was just assigned the role of “flex” for his team, eschewing […]