Part 18: Sigma and the Barriers
This series completely skipped over Ashe’s and Baptiste’s addition to the roster. This was not accidental; Ashe added virtually nothing to the hero roster. Her toolkit ended up playing like a weird mishmash of McCree and Widowmaker while not being on par with either. She gave teams very little that the other two couldn’t, and as such was largely passed over. Baptiste was also largely a blip in time that made his way into a couple of GOATs compositions, but never truly caught on as a metagame force.
The same could not be said for Sigma. Sigma’s toolkit was entirely unique for a tank; namely his speedy, movable barrier made approaching very easy while also giving quick protection to teammates that needed it. Sigma could do this while disrupting the opposition with stuns and dealing good damage. It wasn’t clear where Sigma fit in initially, but it soon became clear that his best partner was Orisa. This created a choking double shield onslaught that was incredibly tough to break and warped the entire meta around it.
It had been a long time since having two barrier tanks on the same team was even close to mainstream. Now it was everywhere. This had huge ramifications on the support and DPS metas at the time. Reaper was by far the biggest beneficiary of these new changes. Sigma’s barrier made it very easy for Reaper to close the distance to his prey, and he also happened to be one of the best ways to consistently push damage onto Orisa. Mei continued her dominance with her disruption tactics proving very useful in this new ground and pound style of offense. Lucio was definitely the best support, but most of the other supports saw play as well (except for Zenyatta, whose toolkit was absolutely not equipped for this new metagame.
Other players in the metagame included Bastion and Doomfist. Doomfist matched up well against Sigma, which allowed him to get some mileage out of the meta despite Orisa naturally erasing him. Bastion, meanwhile, was perfectly equipped for a metagame where barriers were at the forefront. As such, he saw a ton of play.
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