Orbs of Discord – “Before you ask, you can’t choose death”

May 23rd
written by Yiska

birdring image contentYiska: Don’t leak it again.
what if we do something with Discord as the chat client
and the ability
can we do something with that

Eden: the ability?

Yiska: Orb of discord

Eden: ah
Oh that’s actually good

London Spitfire

Eden: So can you bring me up to speed on your feelings about the news? We were going to talk about London anyway, but this news has to be mentioned at least that they are officially not using players

Yiska: I am currently rendering content about this very topic. Elevator explanation is that I’m elated and think this might be what was needed to put the Spitfire back in the sky. It all hinges on Birdring, however.

Eden: Yeah, and we’ve not always been eye to eye on Birdring… I have always thought he was a solid player, but substantively a role DPS player with occasionally really good form.

Yiska: I thought Birdring was always the player with consistently more carry potential in the teams he has played. Sure he had a couple of off games but he was definitely the star between him and Rascal in KDP and I wasn’t really surprised by his performance in stage 1. I always thought that he’d be one of the best players in the league. His recent drop, though rather easily explained with his wrist injury, surprised me a lot more.

Eden: So while I think he’s had good moments and has the portrayal of a dominating DPS player, his average this season is under 1000 (Winstonslab player ranking, which is a crude but reasonable proxy) on all heroes this stage except Soldier he has played significantly. In APEX, he did have a higher average performance of 1100, but that isn’t exactly an all star average. There is no doubt he’s had all-star performances. But I’m not convinced he is a work horse in that way generally and that he’ll likely continue to have off games more than a team that relies him having top form can accept.

Yiska: These stats are obviously deflated by an unprecedented career low for him. His stage 3 looked worse than Hooreg’s statistically and even his stage 2 was already declining. He was part of average teams in APEX and shined in the KDP era. He also beasted through stage 1 and with Widow becoming very important again – or so I think – Birdring could bring it back and clap fools into obedience.

Eden: His widow performances even haven’t on average been that stunning. But time will test this I suppose to some degree. There will be nothing to prove whether his form at his high moments was ever a static level or an overperformance, but his long term legacy we’ll be able to evaluate. Anyway, how does London’s decision change how we see there roster decisions so far this season? Personally, I think it shows that their philosophy is to be explicit with their roster decisions where a player is either on the team or not. There may not be as much of a gray area.

Yiska: In general, we know from our friend Taleb that it only matters when you are clapping fools when it counts the most, not the rest of the time. If he can do that in season playoffs, that’s all I ask of him.
To your second point; I think what I said to be sandbagging turned out to be true but they were sandbagging for psychological or sociological maintenance reasons. I can see how a smaller team with less trouble makes for a more focused environment. Of those cut, only Woohyal could’ve been a positive force. I think this has to be considered an overall positive expected value decision.

Eden: Oh I completely agree with the choice to not play the players when they clearly have a stronger roster. My interest is in whether it gives us insight that they believe in prioritizing truly giving opportunities to prove yourself until the decision is made you are not going to be renewed. And whether you agree with it? It clearly has some downsides, but may be stronger approach in the long run.

Yiska: I think it does imply as much and I do agree with the approach. The breaking point of having too many players to feasibly incorporate into a roster is when you can scrim internally at 12 players, or arguably with 11 and inviting a ringer in. Now they can focus their already comparatively limited coaching resources on individual coaching of less players. I do think that some redundancy is wise, but they likely know that except in a freakish accident where a player gets sick to the point they can’t play, that their remaining roster has the endurance to make it through the season. If everything goes south they are still contracted players who can be flown back to the US, so they aren’t completely open to black swans.

Eden: Your head is too Taleb today ha

Yiska: I finished “antifragile” today, heh. Do you disagree with any of those points or London’s approach?

Eden: I generally agree… I think the question is really how much data you need to discount a player as being worthy of a starting spot. It definitely makes sense to me to test aggressively players and then churn them to make your roster deep in reality and not just on paper.
especially when that player base is korea

Yiska: Yeah, funnily enough Lilsusie just posted on reddit and confirmed some of those speculations I made.

Eden: Yeah. Well London certainly underperformed expectations last week if our predictions are what we hold ourselves to… Do we need to recalibrate or is this noise? You mention Birdring so far this stage…

Yiska: I predicted them to lose twice but I should’ve probably gone harder in both cases. I will consider this slightly but it isn’t a prior smasher that would cause me cognitive dissonance. Against Shock it might be very close, I think they will beat Dynasty though.

Eden: You put Shock over Dynasty right now?

Yiska: Yes, I think it’s silly not to.

Eden: Well our prophet Jarjr315 I think does for sure

Yiska: Well, they started the stage 0-2 and they got run over by Shock. Architect is on fire and Sinatraa is at least hot. Next week they play NYXL and London. I think they’ll go 0-4.

Eden: Yeah can’t really disagree. Do you London is at risk of losing a playoff spot?
they’re only 2 games up from 6th place before this week

Yiska: I think I’d give them 70% to make it in if I look at the rest of their catalogue this stage.

Eden: Yeah especially when you consider that they’d need a lot of teams to simultaneously do a bit better than break even and to not win any of their contested matches basically.

Philadelphia Fusion

Eden: How did we forget SADO existed last week?

Yiska: I guess but if you had been aware of his ban being over, would you have predicted differently given the lack of data we have on him?

Eden: Yes… I don’t need data on him. It is value over replacement. And despite the convoluted conventional wisdom forming that Fragi is somehow actually serving a value adding role to his team, it was a terrible burden to that team this entire season I think.

Yiska: And yet Fissure seems to think Fragi is one of the best Reinhardts in the league. I agree that it was more likely for Sado to make the team better than worse but I don’t know if I agree that Fragi has really been a liability. I think most people would agree that he facilitates Fusion’s style well.

Eden: I think Fusion’s style has been nearly entirely shaped out of necessity
It is hilarious to watch the DPS on Fusion with the pressure to perform that Fragi provides however
it creates some exciting play for sure

Yiska: So where do you place Fusion with Sado now?

Eden: I think with his introduction and his demonstrated competence (at least preliminarily), I think they could be second/third easily.

Yiska: If I put a gun to your head, who will do better: Outlaws of Fusion? Before you ask, you can’t choose death.

Eden: Well, I think that if the entire stage were like this last week, maybe Fusion. But I think things are going to get even more defensive and Outlaws are just going to be so annoying in that meta. I take Outlaws

Yiska: To me, while Overwatch is absolutely not a game for regular solo carry performances, I think it will come down to the consistency of both LiNkzr and Carpe simply because I think their teams are about equally strong otherwise and they have the most potential to swing their pendulum back. Both of them had a bit of trouble in stage 3 for different reasons. I’d also take Outlaws because I believe that LiNkzr is back again.

Final Playoff Discussion

Eden: Yeah, but I think I think both Boston and Philly have a better chance in final playoffs than Houston does at reaching the title match.

Yiska: That’s an odd comparison. Can you elaborate?

Eden: So I think that Boston and Philly (and maybe throw in Gladiators to a lesser degree) are strong teams in a similar way to NYXL where they will perform pretty strongly on average. I just think this stage is particularly advantageous for the Outlaws.

Yiska: I see. I’d exclude LAG but would agree otherwise as they thought that they also capitalized on other teams dropping in performance. I think their source of gravity is somewhere around the mid-tier. I didn’t see Outlaws coming in as strong as I would’ve thought that last stage already was sort of favourable to them. To me this stage isn’t that much better for them, it’s just that they are finding their groove again.

Eden: Eh, there performance has been incredibly inconsistent from stage to stage. I agree they have high highs, but I think their playoff fate will depend on the nature of the patch coming in. I think Brigitte in the game may shift the game in a favorable way for them more generally in the future.

The Meta

Eden: I am really excited to see what form they come into as this meta evolves however. What is the final equilibrium state as you see it for this meta (your turn for a torturing question)?

Yiska: Are you talking about the meta comps in general? I think we will see a lot of map dependant comps. Already it seemed to crystallize that there are a couple of maps such as Gibraltar where D. VA is still a must pick and Brigitte won’t force her out. I think this trend will continue. We’ll probably also see a lot of counter switching on dps roles with pharah, junkrat widow depending on what your opponent throws at you. I think we will eventually have some more complex machinations of what to play when where with a little more stylistic room than in other stages.

Eden: So you ascribe the the rock paper scissors theory of the case for this upcoming meta?

Yiska: Yeah, more or less on some maps. Probably more on KOTH, probably less on Gibraltar or maybe Blizzard world.

Eden: So I’ll try to list out in my mind the three hypothetical composition types that would counter each other… So defensive comps will destroy dive it seems likely (widow junkrat and tanky aided by Brigitte), Pharah compositions maybe countering defensive compositions depending on map geography and then dive countering those heavy effective damage compositions? It’s an off the cuff conception, so please throw in any feedback to that hypothesis.

Yiska: I think this is roughly the way it works. To be honest, these concepts are kind of hazy to me too at this point and I think only people who get to watch OWL scrims can have a rigid idea of it at this point. We lack the ability to trial and error and only have a couple of interactions per match to go

Eden: Yeah, the one I’m most fuzzy on is what will stop defensive compositions from just dominating. I feel like if it became too standard, that there would be tools to just beat them down, but stage 1 indicates somewhat that maybe that isn’t true…

Yiska: I guess there is always well executed full dive and I wonder if you can every really get rid of it now with South Korean playstyles so firmly implanted in the Overwatch League. It arguably allows for the most individual as well as tactical outplay potential and likely always poses some kind of threat to any composition.

Eden: Maybe… The two super compelling compositions that have been revealed are the pick based defensive compositions which rely upon just getting enough first kills off tires and opportunities from widow and junkrat that the disadvantage they may have in straight up fights is justified and then full dive. I’m looking for a third that isn’t as vulnerable as dive is to those pick strategies but still has the advantage in a full fight. I haven’t seen it yet though, except in the geographies that are favorable to Pharah.

Yiska: There is also the Zarya/Rein/Hanzo route in which you just count on your graviton into dragons to do the work on offense. Old Hanzo with Brigitte supposedly is still ridiculous because you can reliably one shot Reinhardt’s if you damage boost the scatter shot during the stun.

Eden: Yeah death ball is viable in some map geographies
Oh well, we’ll see as things develop.

Upcoming Match: Houston Outlaws vs Las Angeles Gladiators

Eden: There is only one match I’m really interested in this week. Outlaws vs Gladiators. I think we are in agreement that Outlaws is the favorite. But how one sided do you think this will be?

Yiska: I think it’s not as bad as it could’ve been based on the maps but thinking about this thoroughly would take too long to form a response. Working percentages are 60/40 Outlaws for me.

Eden: Great minds think alike. I am in complete agreement on those odds.