Using Data Analysis to Understand Competitive Overwatch
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March 09, 2017
Overwatch Hero Meta Report: Console (Season 4 Week 1)
Welcome to OmnicMeta's report on the state of competitive Overwatch
on Console from week 1 of Season 4. In this report, we look at the meta of hero
usage trends across tiers from Grandmaster through Bronze.
this report is: A report and tier list of Overwatch hero usage and
player trends across competitive ladder tiers (Grandmaster ->
Bronze), covering usage for Week 1 Season 4 (a single week of S4). We want
to answer the question "What are people playing at each tier?". Usage is calculated using matches played per hero for each player in our dataset. Players are then
divided into tiers by their current SR at time of data capture. Note that players from different tiers often play with each other (for example Grandmaster and Master).
this report is not: We do not report any data from professional or
Esports tournaments, only competitive ladder within the game of
For information on our dataset, see the About page.
Comparing Hero Usage between Tiers
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.
this week, the big changes to Bastion and Mercy have arguably lead to
significant changes in team compositions as compared to prior weeks.
Let's take a look at each hero category.
heroes got a new buff for the start of Season 4. While Soldier is still solidly picked across tiers, the new changes to Bastion have all somewhat lead to Soldier's decline. Genji, Pharah, and Tracer
remain solid picks all see increased usage, as Zarya ult combo remain really strong. Note that their usage peaks at the Grandmaster tier, as the data suggests Grandmasters players are bearing the DPS roles while teammates that are Masters more frequently play support heroes. ayers are preferring Genji and Tracer to Pharah, possibly due to better mobility. Reaper's usage sinks down even further than S3 and is very rarely seen at higher levels of play, as the damage buffs to Roadhog seem to make Roadhog more suitable for dealing damage in situations that Reaper would have traditionally be good at.
Defense heroes reflect the meta changes, as Bastion surges from near obscurity to be one of the best heroes in the game, stemming from a stronger kit. Recon mode can rival Soldier for
accuracy and damage, and sentry mode gets a survivability improvement
with the new "Ironclad" passive. One asterisk and note with Bastion usage:
while PC did get a patch nerfing the "Ironclad" passive, this patch has not yet hit console. Similar to the drop off in usage I observed on PC, I expect that Bastion's popularity will wan some when the nerf reaches console. Junkrat is
still a favorite hero at Bronze and Silver; anecdotally his "cause
chaos" playstyle likely still leads to solid success at those tiers. Mei is
the only other defense hero that consistently sees over 10% usage rates, likely because of her strength on assault maps and the strength of her ultimate ability. Hanzo, Torb, and Widowmaker continue to be niche picks, with Hanzo and Widowmaker requiring high precision not as easily achieved with a controller. With Torb's turret damage being buffed, we may see an increase in his usage in the future.
Tanks continue to be a big part of the meta at all tiers of play. Reinhardt continue
to be the most popular tank overall, as he continues to be the only
real "main" tank in the game and the foundation of most team
compositions. With the buffs to Bastion, it has become more common to see Mercy power boosting Bastion behind a Rein Shield. Off tanks continue to vary depending on tier. The nerfs to D.Va have caused her to have a 20% drop in usage versus season 3, with Zarya seeing much more play as a direct result. Zarya's ability as a utility tank is similar to D.Va, trading off mobility for potential damage and a strong ult to combo with many of the offensive heroes. Roadhog
continues to be quite strong and a solid pick whose skill cap is
appreciated even more at higher tiers of play. Despite the nerfs to his
hook, we see little change in usage of Roadhog. Winston continues
to be the black sheep of the Tank family (though still picked in Dive
team compositions), but with buffs to his shield and other hero changes
on the PTR, it is entirely possible we will see his use rate increase in
Support usage has changed greatly with the new season. The re-introduction of Bastion into the meta and the buff granting invincibility during ult has lead to a resurgence of Mercy, with a more than 20% increase in average usage rate across all tiers. The biggest loser with the emergence of Mercy is Lucio, who loses his #1 spot. He moves to #2 in support usage, with his healing and speed boost aura continuing to be very strong. Similarly, Zenyatta has lost some popularity but still remains quite strong as discord and healing orbs are quite good. Ana's heavy reliance on accurate shots for healing make her a more difficult pick with a high skill ceiling, as evidenced by her popularity increase across the tiers. Symmetra remains a niche pick despite the rework of her kit.