Although uncommon to see in competitive solo queue play, unless a teammate is a one-trick or trying throw a game with her, Widowmaker is extremely viable in professional play. With a coordinated team, she is one of the deadliest heroes in the game – one pick or kill on the enemy can stop an entire push, in addition to wasting time. Teams must craft specific strategies or take different map paths to counter her line of sight. When Widowmaker is in the hands of a professional player, she drastically alters the game.
Her Kit: One Shot, One Kill
The main reasons that Widomaker is strong is because of her ability to kill low health enemy heroes in one shot and the ability to see through walls with her Ultimate Infra-Sight. Together these two characteristics make her one of the deadliest heroes in the game. Widowmaker can track enemies through walls and hit an easy headshot onto an enemy hero, giving her team a numbers advantage. At a professional level, a numbers advantage usually guarantees a team fight win or signals the end of a fight and a team regroup. No sane team wants to go into a fight when their numbers are down. Getting a single pick with Widowmaker can drastically change the scope of the game.
Other things that make Widowmaker strong is that her kit provides utility and balance. Her first ability Grappling Hook allows her to repel to different areas on the map when she is danger. This ability is crucial when she is getting dove against a coordinated team; it allows her to create distance between herself and the enemies. In addition, Grappling hook can also be used as an offensive tool to chase after weak enemies, gain high ground, or hit crazy shots. Her second ability Venom Mine is less useful than Grappling Hook. Venom Mine deals a small amount of damage to the enemies who are hit by it, and those who are hit by it are temporarily visible to Widowmaker. The main use of Venom Mine is to spot people who may be flanking. The clip below shows how deadly Widowmaker can be if gone unchecked.
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Why It’s a Solo Queue Problem
There are many different reasons why Widowmaker isn’t as good in solo queue as compared to professional play. The most obvious one is skill gap. Typically, in solo queue, Widowmaker players aren’t as good and play her in the wrong situations. Widowmaker is designed to play at a distance and get picks onto enemy heroes, giving your team a numbers advantage. Likewise, team play isn’t as coordinated, so Widowmaker lacks the protection that she needs to operate at the highest level. In solo queue she typically gets dove by multiple people and the rest of her team doesn’t help her as much as they should. This gives an easy kill to the enemy team and then gives them a numbers advantage. Finally, there is a negative connotation around those who play Widowmaker. Most people, regardless of skill level, feel that there is always a better hero that you can play.
Regardless of play tier, Widowmaker is a viable hero when used in the right situations and played correctly. She is a staple of professional play and it is almost impossible not to see her played on maps such as Ilios or Watchpoint: Gibraltar. Her kit provides her with tools for both offensive and defensive capabilities, and a single kill from her can alter the game. Expect to see more high level Widowmaker gameplay in the Overwatch League.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch
Videos Clips: Overwatch League