Using Data Analysis to Understand Competitive Overwatch
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April 10, 2017
Overwatch Hero Meta Report: Console (S4 Week 6)
finally here for competitive! Though she isn't being used much yet, there are still some
significant shakeups this week.
The main trends: Many people will be happy to hear that Bastion continues his freefall and is down 7% to 10% in usage across many of the tiers. As a category, tank usage remains the same, but with the introduction of Orisa and buffs to Winston, tank heroes Reinhardt and Zarya are seeing less play. And as if she couldn't be played any more, Mercy usage continues to swell (#1 at all tiers except Bronze) whileAna continues to decline.
this report is: A report and tier lists for Overwatch hero usage and trends across competitive ladder (Grandmaster ->
Bronze), representing data from two weeks of S4 from Americas server. What
this report is not: We do not report any data from professional or
above chart breaks down average usage of a hero by tier, grouped into
the same categories (Offense, Defense, Tank, Support) as found in the
game. Generally speaking, higher tiers prefer higher skill cap
characters that can reward them for their play, while lower tiers prefer heroes that are easier to learn and be productive with.
Let's take a deeper look at each hero category:
Offense hero usage remains one of the most diverse in Overwatch. Soldier continues to be the most played offense hero by far and equally played at all tiers. With Mercy continuing to grow in popularity and dive team compositions becoming more prevalent, Pharah is an especially solid pick. Pharah is the big gainer this report, and sees increased usage at every tier, with the highest increases at the low tiers (+4% at Bronze, +3% at Silver). At the higher tiers the biggest gainer is McCree (Master +2%, Grandmaster +2%); his kit is especially good against flankers and provides high burst damage at close and long range. Genji and Tracer remain the #3 and #4 most popular heroes and are most used at higher tiers due to their high skill ceiling. Both Genji and Tracer are key pieces to dive team compositions due to their high burst potential. Reaper remains mostly picked at lower tiers; many players are still calling for a Reaper rework as Roadhog's current kit often cited as a better alternative. Sombra remains an incredibly niche pick overall despite buffs to her translocator and invisibility abilities.
continue to be the least popular (and probably most situational) hero
category. The biggest mover continues to be Bastion. While only a few weeks ago he was seeing nearly 40% usage at all tiers, Bastion is currently in a free fall, having lost nearly 20% usage at Grandmaster, and nearly the same at other tiers. This report he has lost roughly 7% to 10% usage at most tiers. Note that he still remains the most popular defensive hero and more so at lower tiers. Junkrat remains very popular at lower tiers and sees increased usage at most tiers this week. He did get a small buff which removes damage from his explosives, enabling Junkrat to engage in more close-range combat. The other four heroes remain niche picks for various reasons; Mei and Torbjorn are more situational heroes that are especially good on capture point maps, while Hanzo and Widowmaker have incredibly high skill ceilings and can be inconsistent due to reliance on accurate aim.
Tanks see the biggest shake up in hero usage this week, mostly due to the introduction of Orisa. Reinhardt, Roadhog and Zarya see decreases in play, likely to make room for Orisa and Winston. Orisa has been available for competitive play for about 2 weeks and so far there doesn't seem to be much interest in her, though more people are playing her at lower tiers than higher tiers. Reinhardt retains his status as the most popular tank at all tiers of play (exception D.Va at Bronze and Silver). It appears that he currently still is the only "anchor tank", though Blizzard is pushing Orisa as an alternative. D.Va sees increased usage at low tiers and is more popular on console than on PC (25% more popular at Bronze, 5% at Grandmaster). Her high health pool and "swiss army knife" of abilities (blocking damage, boosting, zoning ult) lets her fit into a lot of team compositions makes her a strong hero overall, particularly at lower tiers. Roadhog and Zarya are high skill ceiling heroes and continue to be popular at high tiers as Zarya's projected barrier / ultimate and Roadhog's hook / weapon remain really strong. Winston sees increased usage this week but is still rarely seen; he remains even more a key piece to dive team compositions as the cooldown to his barrier was reduced in the last patch.
Support usage continues to evolve with recent patch and team composition changes. Overall, Mercy continues to rise while Ana continues fall out of favor. Mercy remains the most popular support and the most popular hero in console Overwatch. She continues to fit into most team compositions, pairs with popular DPS hero Pharah to great effect, and provides arguably one of the most impactful ultimate abilities in the game. Lucio continues to be the #2 most popular support; his aura healing and speed songs remain strong. With Lucio's AOE radius being severely nerfed and buffs to individual abilities on PTR, it will be interesting to see what happens to his usage if the changes make it to live servers. Zenyatta sees an increase in usage on the whole, moving him to the #3 most popular support hero at most tiers. His discord orb and harmony orb make him especially useful for dealing damage to high-health heroes and keeping squishy close-range heroes like Genji alive. Ana continues to be in free fall (4% on average across tiers), likely due to the damage nerfs which make her less of a utility hero. She still has the highest heal rate in the game, assuming accurate aim. Symmetra continues to be a niche hero with a strong supporting kit that is good in some situations and map types.