The coach highlighted the connection between the game's meta and its hero releases.
Houston Outlaws coach Jake says that locking new heroes behind a battle pass in Overwatch 2 might actually improve its high-level meta.
In an extended Twitter thread, the Overwatch League coach discussed the merits of requiring players to get to a certain level of the game’s battle pass before they can play a newly-released hero. He explained that while he might have once been against what he sees as a “pay-to-win” injection in high-ranked Overwatch 2 play, putting new characters behind a battle pass may actually incentivize the game’s developers to release new content and balance patches faster.
Jake started the thread by emphasizing the importance of multiple viable team compositions and varied playstyles in professional and high-ranked play. He explained that stages one and two of this year’s Overwatch League season proved that even with a five-person team (down from the original Overwatch’s six), past beta builds of Overwatch 2 did a good job of making many different compositions viable.
Continuing on about the mixing of balance patches and new hero releases, Jake shared, “I see that for the game to succeed long term the monetization model MUST incentivize the speed of the new content/patch cycle.” (New heroes will be a part of the game’s free battle pass, not the “premium” or paid version, according to Overwatch commercial leader and vice president at Blizzard, Jon Spector.) If having these heroes behind the battle pass and relying on a seasonal model will cause the developers to issue balance changes and patches more frequently, he believes it would be a win for the game’s meta and variety.
Jake ended the thread by saying that he hopes Overwatch 2 will be a commercial success thanks to its new monetization model since that’s the only way its professional scene will continue to survive. Fans jumped into the comments to support him and continue to discuss the battle pass leak, which exploded onto the scene yesterday alongside leaks of upcoming hero Kiriko’s animated short.