Envision announced earlier today that Fahzix and Tseini will be stepping down from their active roster, looking for other opportunities, and the team will be looking for new blood to fill their ranks with their minds set on the second season of both Contenders and Overwatch League. With these roster changes announced, I decided to take a look at their performance in APAC and see how their roster with the addition of Chayne adapted to the new patch, in comparison to their Contenders S1 run.
Fahzix & Tseini Stepping Down. Roster Changes & Future by @aminacov
— EnVision eSports (@ggenvision) October 31, 2017
Let’s start by looking at the players’ hero pools from the two tournaments and do a fast comparison. The most noticeable difference in the current meta for Envision, compared to the previous ones (since Contenders S1 was played on two patches, Doomfist one and the Junkrat one) is that Tseini has moved on from the off-tank to the DPS role, exchanging places with McGravy. The latter was the Tracer player for Season 1 with some good moments on McCree and Soldier76. Jaru was on the projectile DPS / Doomfist role for Contenders, but in APAC he also seemed to have moved on to the Tracer role almost exclusively, 63% pickrate, and with a bit of Genji depending on maps and strategies.
The other big difference between the two rosters, Contenders S1 and APAC 2017, is Chayne. With numlocked out and Chayne in, it seems like Envision started to shift away from standard 2-2-2 dive compositions, with D.Va/Winston as the usual Tank duo, and experiment with “1 Main tank” comps. In many occasions during their run in APAC, Chayne was playing D.Va as main tank, while McGravy playing Roadhog was acting as somewhat an “off-tank”. From the experimentation and the results, it is my feeling that Roadhog’s contribution in terms of protection and providing cover or creating space is far lesser than that of D.Va or Winston. Roadhog’s abilities and tool kit are not ones that other teammates can rely on consistently. Therefore, the plan was whenever McGravy was to play Roadhog for the specific strategies on maps Envision wanted to run, Chayne was to pick up D.Va, while the other times Chayne would stay on Winston and McGravy would play D.Va.
One more thing to note for Envision’s playstyle is that they moved away from Genji compositions that they preferred a lot during Contenders S1. Their most played composition at that time was Genji – Tracer – Lucio – Zenyatta – D.Va – Winston. Due to the fact that they played only three matches on the new patch, it’s kinda hard to see if the direction they showed will be the same in the future, but the first impression is that with Jaru on Tracer (with lots of room for improvement, for sure) and with Tseini as the second DPS, they try to take advantage of the new Mercy with Pharmercy comps on attack and then they default to Soldier76-Tracer comps on defense.
Images below show the top 5 most played compositions from the two tournaments.
Going into the map pools of Envision and their choices in APAC, they clearly devised new strategies around the new options that they were given. In all three of their matches, they picked Junkertown as the Escort map, a brand new map that teams haven’t really figured out and it seemed that Envision was betting on it. In general, the layout of the first point of the map makes it really hard for the defenders to achieve a full hold, with no great choke that they can abuse. Envision played a lot of Widowmaker on this map and Pharah. Usually, they ran with Triple DPS comps on attack trying to apply maximum pressure and get the first point as fast as possible while at the same time aiming to set up for the second point assault ahead of time.
For Assault game mode, they picked Lunar Colony on their first match but then dropped the map and stayed with Hanamura, a map they found success on during Contenders with 2 Wins and 1 tie, 0 losses, while picking it only once. On Hanamura, their point A defences were blown away quite easily both times, but their second point defence was more stable. McGravy ran the Roadhog the second time around, while the first time he stayed entirely on D.Va. He seemed to do great with Roadhog, but the absence of a two tank combo created problems of space for the rest of his team. I would suggest exploring the triple tank option for Roadhog, rather than having him as the “off-tank”, even if Mercy can ress him at any given time now. Unlike barriers, damage done to Roadhog still provides ult charge. It is possible to make it work, but you need outstanding Roadhog and D.Va players.
Hybrid this time around was the last game mode of the arrangement and all three times Envision picked King’s Row with an eventual score of 2 wins – 1 loss. [Since Contenders S1, they have shown their preference for the map.] I can’t know for sure how much it being at the end affected the teams’ overall efforts, but I think it shows that playing on comfortable maps can enhance a team’s performance. McGravy was rolling the Roadhog both on Attack and Defence. The plan was to go in as aggressively as possible with Tseini on Pharah, Jaru on Tracer and McGravy’s Roadhog and hit the teams from below and above. At some point in the past, the Pharmercy combo was good on this map, but was abandoned fast because great Soldier76 players would counter it pretty hard. With the new Mercy, it could maybe start reappearing since it also negates any Junkrat play. It didn’t work against MVP Space’s Ado on Genji, though, so it’s not a bulletproof strategy.
Overall, due to their situation, Envision went in APAC with many fronts open. The conditions were not ideal, for sure, and their performance was not indicative of the roster’s true strength, but it was still a good learning experience; an invaluable one for all these players. The big question to be answered is how they will allocate their players to adapt to the new patch and find success. Their best card throughout the most part of Contenders S1 was Jaru on Doomfist/Genji making space for McGravy’s Tracer and McCree. Will he stay on the Tracer role and how good can he be? Will they return to Genji comps? With Tseini and Fahzix out, they surely have to rethink their whole roster. Not sure when the next tournament will be held in the West, but it’s the only time we will get the answers we want.
Featured image is courtesy of Bananaculture.