Part 10: Dive’s Dominance, Sombra’s Appearance, and Doomfist’s Arrival
There was a time where a huge slug of the roster was considered viable. For a few weeks well over half of the heroes could feasibly be brought to a high level game without handicapping ones team comp. This slowly but surely began to change, however. Heroes that had seen play on the bulkier playstyles of old started to fall out of favor. Reinhardt and Zarya were casualties of this shift. Dive really began to take hold of the metagame. Tracer and friends were commonplace, and Winston even approached Lucio in the usage stats for a time.
Sombra Steps Up
Sombra had been overshadowed since her debut into the hero roster. Her ability to hack other heroes and disable their abilities was very nice and she was incredibly mobile and tricky to pin down. In addition, the healthpacks that she hacked enabled teams to hole up in one location with semi reliable healing and charge Sombra’s EMP, which was (and still is) an incredible ultimate. However, her flaws were initially considered to be too great to confidently overcome. Sombra was slippery, but she didn’t actually do that much damage, and in a bulkier metagame that wasnt a good thing. She also couldn’t stay invisible for long periods of time. Above all, she was outclassed as a support by Ana and Zenyatta, and a pure DPS by Tracer.
Fortunately, Sombra started to pick up some usage in the Dive metagame. Dive heroes really need their abilities to initiate dives and disengage. Sombra removes this from the equation entirely. She could also get EMP incredibly quickly thanks to healthpack farming. Above all, EMP had the potential to win fights immediately. It took Sombra a while, but she ended up having a nice place in this new Dive metagame.
The meta stayed pretty similar for a little while longer, mostly being Dive with some bulkier team comps (as well as South Korea’s famous Junkrat composition making a small splash). It was at this point that Doomfist, the long awaited wielder of the gauntlet, was released. The previously released heroes had initially received a somewhat chilly reception, but pros picked up Doomfist right away. Doomfist’s strengths played right into the dive metagame. He had the mobility to make dives function, but he also functioned as an excellent anti-dive hero. He had excellent matchups against both dive tanks as well as Genji. Doomfist also enabling anti-dive started to bring bulkier comps with Zarya and Reinhardt back into the equation as well, once again steering the meta in a more diverse direction.
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