How will 2-2-2 role lock potentially shake up the Overwatch League?


Having 2-2-2 role lock implemented in the Overwatch League is an idea that has gone from simply rumors to a change that many are anticipating to be a guaranteed update to the league format come Stage 4 in light of recent leaks, most notably from former Seoul Dynasty Tank player Fissure. 

In the hours following the news of his retirement, Fissure took to his stream to converse with his fans and confirmed that the controversial 2-2-2 role lock rumors and reports are true and will be coming to the Overwatch League by Stage 4.

“I’m retired now so I’ll say it. Next stage, four, 2-2-2 lock is confirmed,” Fissure said, according to a translation of the stream dialogue via Reddit.

An enforced role lock would mean that teams would be forced to run compositions consisting of 2 DPS, 2 Tank and 2 Support heroes, as opposed to the freedom teams, who currently have to mix and match heroes regardless of their class. 

A 2-2-2 model has raised several concerns and questions from the community such as the potential for this to put an end to GOATS but at the cost of strategic diversity and a reversion back to the dive meta. Additionally, teams that currently top the rankings could be knocked down a peg as other Overwatch League teams who have incredible DPS talent that has been sitting on the reserve bench for most of the season which could finally have a moment to shine.

We had a chance to ask the Fusion players for their thoughts on how a 2-2-2 role lock could hypothetically affect the Overwatch League and the state of the competitive metagame.

How would a 2-2-2 role lock affect team rosters?

Fragi: I guess it will make things more straightforward. You will have Tank players, Support players and DPS players. It depends on the roster size.

Boombox: A trait a lot of teams look for currently is flexibility so players who can have more roles can play comps like GOATS or other variations, whereas in 2-2-2 you just need people who are really good at specific roles because they won't be playing anything else anytime soon.

Neptuno: Yesm because you have players like Saebyeolbe or Pine, those are my best examples of world-class players that are like the best in their roles. There is no doubt. Pine is one of the best Widows. 

Saebyeolbe is one of the best Tracers, like no one can argue that, and they can't play the game [at the moment]. It's so sad. I feel that the 2-2-2 lock is the right thing because you fix two problems. You fix the GOATS problem and you fix the solo queue problem where people just do whatever they want.

Coach Christfer: I think players become locked to that [specific role], scouting talent becomes a lot easier. There has always been this thing where when you look for a D.Va player, for example, your questions are like, "What if there is a world where there is a triple DPS meta?" and you're always looking out for that or [with] specific DPS players, "Can they play enough Tanks?" Once you straight-up lock people in, you only have to base their quality based on the heroes in their hero pool. I think it would make things easier for us, for sure.

Carpe: I expect to see each team's unique comps. A team who has a good Pharah can build around that player or if they have a good Widow, they will have a different 2-2-2 too. If that has players fit for Dive meta, they will use Dive.

How will 2-2-2 role lock impact strategic diversity?

Fragi: I think it just makes things easier in general. Like I've said, you just have these locked roles so you can just think about each role individually and just go from there.

Coach Christfer: I think it will open the door for more heroes, DPS heroes specifically. I can see a world in which a vast majority of them get played.

Coach Hayes: I think you'll still see some good strategies in the game, but nothing like 3 DPS 3 Tank. There may be less variation in strategy.

Carpe: The downside is you won't see comps like 3 Tanks or 3 DPS [anymore] that are potentially great strategies too, but overall in ranked or in the league, it will appeal to more people.

Poko: I mean, like, if they put role locking out now, I feel that Brigitte, for example, will never get played because she's not really a healer, not really Tank.

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