Big patch dropped a couple days ago, and, after playing with it, here are my thoughts on the meta changes for competitive Overwatch.
No more ARG, Sombra is here
She boops, she hacks, she is loved by all; she is Sombra and she’s finally joined the fight. She’s an interesting character that introduces a “second Tracer” to the competitive meta. Before single hero limit was implemented, double Tracer comps were very dominant. I can envision the introduction to Sombra will lead to a lot of Tracer/Sombra comps that will accomplish what double Tracer used to do. She is essentially Tracer with a better kit. Some people are crying she’s over-powered early but I think people just don’t know how to counter it yet (at least at lower level play). She seems like a hero that will fit really well if the comp is built with her in mind as opposed to a plug-n-play hero.
Less ults/more plays
Overwatch has been getting to the point where both teams just poke each other trying to gain ults and then fight. Ults will take 25% longer and that’s great! It should force people to have to make more plays without relying on ults. You might see less Genjis and more Tracers as you’ll want someone less reliant on their ult to deal all their damage.
You’re powered up, get in there (but slowly)
Ana has been a must pick in competitive play, and led to the whole triple tank thing. That’s never a situation you want in a class-based eSport, so getting rid of the speed boost her ult used to give heroes makes sense. Now it’s not automatically going on Reinhardt to run in and kill everyone. See this being applied more on DPS heroes now for the wombo with Soldier 76 or McCree.
Seriously, start playing D. Va
Her buffs might put D. Va in the must-pick territory. She receives more mobility while firing, more health, and while everyone else’s ult will take longer, her’s will remain at roughly the same spot. She’ll be a grab all situation for off-tank/off-DPS, and we could be seeing her much more as she has become increasingly more versatile.
Blizzard made me better at the game/buffed Solider 76
Soldier 76 isn’t picked much at high level. I don’t see that changing drastically at competitively play, but as a S76 main, I welcome the increased bullet damage. It’ll help him take out targets at long range as well as take down enemy tanks that are big enough to get hit by a full spray without a lot of effort. It’ll also help Soldier stay balanced with Pharah’s buff I’ll be talking about in a second. Just makes it so he’s still a counter to her. Quality of life bump for us Call of Du- I mean Soldier 76 players.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no… It’s Pharah!
Tough to think the inconsistent damage will make Pharah see much play in high level, but her buffs should make her more viable in solo queue. Buffs to her splash damage and her flying time will help her out but likely just to be more successful at being annoying than really being a dominant threat against organized teams.
No more golds in damage for Zarya
Zarya was sitting in the must-pick category for her ability to tank and lead the team in damage. She’ll receive 20% less damage from her barriers so it’ll be harder for her to achieve the same damage output. I also stood by you should just shoot her down even through her shield to get rid of her before she lays down a ton of damage, but now people will be more convinced to do that since there will be less chance of being punished for giving her more power.
Can 3v3 be an eSport on its own?
I don’t think 3v3 will actually be the popular choice for Overwatch eSports, BUT it’s an extremely intriguing game mode I enjoy a lot personally. Callouts feel like CS:GO, the combat feels like WoW Arena, and it really feels like a mode that could have its own tournaments. Although it likely will always be a side thing, I’d love for their to be 3v3 ranked play. The game is surprisingly balanced well for it and can make exciting best of 5 situations!
There are many other updates, but these are the ones I feel are the most interesting changes. View the rest of the patch notes here.
Jonny eSports is the host of the reSports. You can follow him on Twitter (@reSports) where he often live tweets during eSports events! He also streams on Twitch.tv/AYBTV on Tuesday evenings. He is now recruiting for his 3v3 team because seriously, it’s fun!