As always, with a new season come new operators, map changes, and operator and map tweaks. With the 2019 competitive schedule rolling to a close with the Six Invitational 2020 qualifiers, Season 11 of the Pro League will herald in a possibly new meta with Goyo and Amaru exiting competitive quarantine, having already featured in many regions' Invitational qualifiers.
The biggest change, of course, is the rework of the much-maligned Theme Park that has won over many of its detractors. With a significant chunk of the map removed by cutting out the train section, and lighting brightened up, some have even begun to hope for the introduction of the map into the competitive pool. Of course, the additions of Kali and Wamai, in particular, cannot be ignored, and pros are certain to be keeping tabs on them through their quarantine period as they develop strategies to fit Goyo and Amaru in.
To sample some of what the pro scene feels about Shifting Tides and everything new that comes with it, SiegeGG checked in with what Patrick “MentalistC” Fan from Fnatic, Lukas “korey” Zwingmann from Giants Gaming, and Marlon “Twister” Mello from FaZe Clan think about it.
What do you think of the newly renovated Theme Park? Could that be a possible addition to the competitive map pool? If so, in place of which map and why?
It's certainly better than the old Theme Park, but it suffers from minor but annoying issues that make it annoying to play. Such as a (still) monotone color scheme indoors, angle cluttering, and too many unneeded rooms and trival hiding spots. In pro play it will suffer the same issue as old Hereford in a way because of the low amount of vertical gameplay and linear design of the map and bomb sites.
Currently my experience with Theme Park has been… dissapointing to say the least. It is another absolutly defender-sided map just like the last three introduced maps (Kafe/Kanal/Villa etc). I don't see it replacing any map other than any already defender-sided map such as Villa and Kafe, which will only be harder to attack in the upcoming seasons.
I believe the map shows us a lot of new opportunities to play it, and for me it would be a good addition to the map pool if we have some time to study it more, but I believe that there are other maps that could be in the competitive rotation. In my opinion, Bank, Consulate, and Border are maps that could change in the current map pool.
Having had three months to try them out in non-competitive modes, and seen them in the Six Invitational Qualifiers, what do you think of Goyo and Amaru's place in the meta?
Amaru has the same problem as operators like Nøkk who will not be picked in-meta due to her utility’s selfish nature, and only will be brought to surprise and attempt to outplay opponents. Personally, I wish to see more of these operators being played as it makes it much more interesting to watch and cast, but most pro teams will go for more stable, utility-heavy lineups and avoid taking the risk in bringing selfish operators in the hope of making risky plays.
Goyo will be very strong once teams figure out the many ways to use his shields -- it will take some time still but I think he will be quite dominant in the upcoming Pro League.
I still think Amaru is a very risky operator and something you can give to a player like AceeZ, if he feels like it he CAN make a play, but you also risk dying instantly without bringing any value to the team whatsoever.
Goyo, on the other hand, is an operator that I am very convinced we will see a lot -- his utillity is insane, his gadget is strong (and so are his weapons), he can deny 30 seconds with his shields, burn utillity, make rotations and holes, and impact trick on top of that.
I believe that Amaru will be a very niche operator since her utility basically can be used just once, and about Goyo, he has more potential to show up on some strategies that we have in the current meta and I believe he will bring a new play style with him that will change some ways to play the game.
Do you think the three-month quarantine period needs to be better utilised? Many pros have commented how Goyo needed a nerf since he was added.
I know the developers are working on a lot of other stuff other than operator balancing, and hence won't act immediately on a operator upon the community’s request. That's why I think having a larger and more open testing forum for pros will help in balancing the operators more accurately and quickly. Unfortunately, the devs take ranked pick and win rates into heavy consideration as well, so even the existing pro forum wont help much. In my opinion, the ranked gameplay should be balanced base on the Pro League and not the other way around, but the devs seems to believe otherwise.
For sure! We've been complaining about Goyo to Ubisoft and on social media since he came out, but nothing has been done, sadly.
Yes, I believe these three months could be better used since you can play with them and test them individually, to give feedback, but at the same time, most part of the pro teams are practicing for the official games during the season. That results in non-utilisation of these operators in scrims so you cannot test them in professional situations.
What do you think of the changes to Warden, making him two-speed? Will his pick rate increase?
He is already 2-speed in the live server, but for me his issue is the fact that his ability must be fully charged before used, unlike operators like Caveira and Vigil. This makes timing his ability usage with the opponents push or execution very troublesome and sometimes almost impossible. So, making it usable when partially charged will make him much more comfortable to play and his pick rate should increase.
I'm covinced Warden is an interesting operator who has moments where he CAN become useful, but in the current meta where fragging is super heavy and where you almost never come to an opportunity to even try and smoke and plant due to your team losing too many people, or the map not allowing it, or the utility not being there, his value isn't that great, especially as he will only be useful when flashed or smoked and will have zero value to his team before that. Honestly, I'd rather see a rework of him than trying to change his weapons and speed.
I believe he's a very good operator to hold a specific position in the map, but the same way he does that, there's a lot of other better operators to hold the same area of the map, and that makes him not that useful, unless for a specific strat.
What is your opinion of the two new operators, Kali and Wamai. Early days, but do you think they have a place in the meta?
Wamai will be very strong in the Pro League as he has a shield (the strongest gadget by far), is the only counter to Capitao, and has a rifle with a sick pistol as well. He may need to be nerfed. Kali might be very strong in pro play with organised teams locking down entire rotations with her (much like the old Blackbeard back in the day). Both operators have great potential but only time will tell.
I honestly love both of them. They have strong weapons and simple yet effective gadgets. I can't say much more due to them needing more time to be adapted to, but I'm pretty sure Wamai will be seen pretty often as soon as he comes out for competitive play.
I believe that with the increase of the Thatcher ban in official matches, Kali would be a good operator to replace him just for the gadget. About her gun, I believe that some teams will try some specific strats with that powerful sniper holding some advantageous angle. About Wamai, I believe he will be useful on some holds as well since you can use him and Jaeger, making the bomb site better to hold.
Do you think it is (or soon may be) time to have additional operator bans?
With more operators coming in, I hope we can increase the map pool to nine maps and increase the amount of bans. Maybe even introduce operator saves to make him unbannable by the opponents (maybe trade save with bans?). This will spice up the meta more and make Best-of-Threes and Fives much more unpredictable as teams cant prep and hard counter as much and will have to rely on basics of adaptation and communication.
Honestly, I think we should get two more bans -- the attackers get one more defender ban and the defenders one more attacker ban, so each side has one defender, one attacker, and then one bonus ban. Adds more value to where you start and how you ban. I'm unsure if right now is the perfect moment for that, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
I don't really think it's time for that since you would make it double. With four attack operators banned, you can play a game with not even one hard breacher, or tactical operators like Thatcher and IQ. That would make the game a little bit worse to watch.
Catch the continuation of the Six Invitational 2020 qualifiers as the year comes to a close, with Season 11 of the Pro League not far behind.
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