I’ve played the final launch version of Overwatch for almost 150 hours and yet there’s still something I haven’t been able to do. It’s been a deep desire every time a certain handful of maps come up and yet this feat seems to elude basically every player that’s stepped foot on the battlefield.
This elusive feat is, of course, sinking a basket during the spawn countdown.
For those who are unaware, whenever a player is getting ready to begin a round of King of the Hill, they have the opportunity to mess around in a spawn area that plays host to three basketballs (two of which are on a rack and one is on a table) and a hoop in the corner of the room. You can bet your bottom dollar that one or more players on each team on Lijang Tower, Ilios and Nepal will attempt to bash one or more of these basketballs into the hoop, and it was actually pretty achievable back when Overwatch was in Beta. Check out the footage below from YouTuber LoLzNinja where Hanzo is able to easily sink a hoop:
If you’ve been paying attention to Overwatch’s community, you’ll know that roughly a month after its May release, a patch was put into place that caused confetti to shoot out of the hoop if a player makes a shot. Of course, this also came with a tweak to the basketball physics that caused them to go absolutely crazy if so much as a sneeze hit them. YouTuber Bobparker demonstrates this below, though he appeared to have gotten a bit jumpy and turned away from the hoop during the moment of truth:
Despite the fact that the confetti effect was added, making it clear that Blizzard knows that its players are actively trying to make baskets on the three King of the Hill maps, this tweak to the basketball physics was not met with warm reception. Anecdotally, it was tough to enter a King of the Hill match where players were using voice communication and not hear somebody half-sarcastically joking about the new basketballs. There was basically no reason for Blizzard to patch Overwatch’s basketball physics outside of the idea that perhaps it would make the confetti effect feel all the more special. Speaking as someone who has played hundreds of King of the Hill matches and never once hit a basket, I could legitimately feel my heart drop whenever I came close to sinking a shot. Perhaps this speaks more to the low bar of amusement that I’ve set for myself, but I’d like to believe that there’s something genuinely exciting about this particular easter egg.
Overwatch’s basketball physics seemed to be a non-story up until the latest patch, which was released early this week on PC and a bit later on on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The big notes from the largest Overwatch patch to date were the addition of Ana, a massive buff to D.Va that completely altered the meta, buffs to Zenyatta and McCree and the addition of a hero limit in Competitive Play. One of the smaller tidbits, but the most salient for this partciular article, was an alteration to the basketball physics that made them into…well the complete opposite of what they were before. While it’s still possible to score a basket, as YouTuber steve diggi demonstrates in the video below, you can clearly tell that the basketballs no longer have the bounce they once did:
Considering how downright meaningless the basketballs are in the grand scheme of things, the assumption here is that Overwatch has to be actively trolling its player base through these patches. After all, it’s clearly working, as it’s driven me bonkers to the point where I’m writing an article accusing the massive developer of nefarious sports tweaking. There are millions of Overwatch players out there who haven’t scored a basket, yet try at the start of every King of the Hill match, and it feels like the silliest slap in the face to receive these tweaks. It’s worth noting that nobody is actually upset at what Blizzard has done. These patches have turned into a comical reason to throw our hands up in the air out of exasperation.
Of course, if you’re looking to sink a basket the total easy cheater way, there’s always Symmetra and her cheeseball Photon Projector, which you can see courtesy of YouTuber Huntard below: