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Reports: Blizzard planning Overwatch League role lock to blow up GOATS meta

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(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard plans to blow up the Overwatch (opens in new tab) League's stale "3-3" GOATS meta (opens in new tab)—a composition of three tanks and three supports—by introducing a role lock that forces teams to pick two DPS heroes, two supports and two tanks, according to reports.

Esports site Upcomer reported (opens in new tab) on the role lock earlier this week, citing "multiple sources inside the Overwatch League". Blizzard will introduce the lock at the start of the current season's fourth stage, which begins in July, the report said.

The report was echoed by former Overwatch pro Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung, who played main tank for the Seoul Dynasty before announcing his surprise retirement earlier this week (opens in new tab). In a follow-up stream, Fissure claimed that the 2-2-2 role lock had already been decided for stage four. "I'm retired now so I'll say it. Next stage, stage 4, 2-2-2 lock is decided," he said, according to multiple translations of this clip (opens in new tab).

While some players might not like the restriction, it should be a good thing for the audience. Damian wrote an excellent piece (opens in new tab) after the opening weekend of the current Overwatch League season in February about what exactly GOATS is, why it's boring to watch, and why Blizzard needs to blow it up. The developer has made attempts to do just that (opens in new tab) and some teams have drifted towards higher damage compositions, but GOATS still dominates.

A role lock would represent a change of heart for Blizzard: game director Jeff Kaplan has previously said (opens in new tab) that a rigid lock system "hurts the spirit" of Overwatch.

Which heroes do you think teams would pick if the 2-2-2 lock comes into play?

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.