Using Data Analysis to Understand Competitive Overwatch
Search for Overwatch Player Stats
September 10, 2018
Overwatch Hero Meta Report: PC (September 10, 2018)
Season 12 started with a fresh look from the Patch 1.27 changes. The support meta has shifted away from Mercy and Moira towards Ana, while Lucio is also seeing more play as a result of new team compositions. Tanks continue to revolve around Reinhardt, but D.Va and Winston are seeing bumps in popularity. Lots of changes as the meta continues to shift... as always I
enjoy this report!
Big Movers this Meta Report
above infographic presents the top two heroes gaining the most usage
since Season 12 started. The biggest change this season is that Ana has finally found her was back into the meta. She's the biggest gainer on average across the tiers at +10% usage rate, with the biggest gains at the highest tiers. With nanoboost providing way more value and Mercy no longer a must pick, Ana is looking pretty good with winrates for the first time in about a year. Other heroes seeing a significant boost is D.Va (+6% usage), Lucio (+10% at Master/Grandmaster), Brigitte (+4% usage), and Moira (+6% in middle tiers). The main change for these other heroes are mostly due to support changes and that the GOATS composition (and variations) continues to grow in popularity.
Mercy and Zen and the two heroes that have completely fallen off in Season 12 so far. Mercy has mostly seen her play eroded by Ana, as she is down -14% on average across all the tiers. Her healing output simply isn't a tier above other heroes, though her utility kit still have some value. As GOATs and mobile team compositions gain popularity, Zen (-6% usage) is becoming a more rare pick in favor of Lucio. Other heroes significantly falling in popularity since the starts of the Season are Hanzo (-3% usage) and Roadhog (-3% usage). Hanzo was once the most popular Damage hero in Overwatch, but has been on a steady decline due to the steady stream of nerfs and lack of inclusion in popular team compositions.
Current Hero Meta Trends in Overwatch
above chart shows the current hero meta landscape in competitive Overwatch and breaks down average hero usage by tier, grouped by category
(Damage, Tank, Support). The biggest observation from the chart is which heroes have spikes of usage. In Season 12 so far, Damage heroes vary, D.Va, Reinhardt are generally the popular tanks, and Support meta varies depending on tier. Tanks actually become more popular as the tiers increase, a clear nod to the popularity of multi-tank team compositions. We dive more into each hero category below.
DPS heroes remain the most diverse hero category. Though Junkrat remains very popular at the lowest tiers, no other Damage hero is above a 30% usage rate overall - and there aren't really "must-picks" in the category. Perhaps a better indication of the balanced Damage hero meta is that there currently aren't any clear standout meta heroes with insanely high winrates. Hanzo (-3% usage) used the be the popular hero at the higher tiers, but several waves of nerfs and a changing meta have caused his popularity to decline. Mobile and high skill cap heroes (Genji, Tracer, Widowmaker) are currently most popular at the highest tiers, while splash damage heroes like Junkrat at Pharah continue to be popular at the lowest tiers.
Reinhardt continues to be the most popular tank (and main tank) this season, followed by D.Va. Mobile tanks in general are seeing increased play. While D.Va (+6% usage) remains popular at the lowest tiers, Zarya and Winston (+3% usage) are most popular at the highest tiers. Despite relative popularity in the pro scene and high utility, Hammond's (Wrecking Ball) popularity has settled down in the 10% usage range across tiers. Hammond's weakness in the meta at the moment appears to still be mastery of the hero, as his winrate is currently below 50% for most tiers. We also notice from the data that tanks in general are being played more frequently at the higher tiers (An average team in Grandmaster currently has 2.2 tanks), a clear nod to multi-tank compositions like GOATS.
Ana has finally gotten her day - with both usage and winrates well above 50% in the highest tiers. She is now the most popular support in tiers Platinum and above, with her biotic grenade and revamped nanoboost having high impact. Mercy and Moira also compete for the main healer position at the lower tiers, while also seeing significant play as offhealer depending on the tier. Lucio (+4% usage) is seeing increased play in Master and Grandmaster as Zenyatta continues to fall out of favor. His larger healing/speed aura radius has made him a better hero overall, while his speed boost is a key enabler of multi-tank team compositions. Brigitte remains a constant staple in the meta with the highest winrates in the game.
Hero Meta by Competitive Tier
Let's take a deeper look at each
competitive tier, and what heroes make up the current meta. The charts
below rank each hero by category, according to their popularity.