Three weeks into the 2020 season of the Overwatch League and it seems like a meta has already been established. Teams have seemed to have made compositions around Reinhardt, which is flanked by a D.Va or Orisa, the damage being a Mei, McCree, or Reaper, and supports sticking to Ana as the main healer. For many, these heroes have given teams great success. More importantly, though, teams will need to adapt to other heroes as well, as these hero picks will inevitably be banned through the implementation of “hero pools”. This could be an interesting dynamic for those who are only known to dominate one a single hero.
Here is a look at each Hangzhou Spark player’s main hero and how it may be affected by the league’s first selection of heroes.
Tanks: guxue (Winston)
From an objective stand-point, Qiulin “guxue” Xu is solid on any main tank. For all intents and purposes, he may be the most consistent player on the team and maybe the anchor to this team’s success in certain metas. guxue‘s signature hero is Winston. This is a hero that brought him to the OWL after a stellar performance with Team China at the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. With Reinhardt being the most picked hero in the league so far based on the OWL’s Stats Lab (90.3%), there is a high chance Rein could be banned when the Spark make their season debut. If that is the case, then a Winston dive meta could make an appearance… As long as our next hero does not get banned as well.
Tanks: Ria (D.Va)
Alongside guxue‘s Winston, Sungwook “Ria” Park’s D.Va could be a potent combo in the next meta. D.Va was a very successful pick for Ria during the 2019 season and provided for plenty of highlight-reel plays with Self-Destruct. With this being said, D.Va has a pretty high pick rate currently (80.9%) and could be on the chopping block for the first set of hero bans. The D.Va main could be in trouble unless he is working hard on his other off-tanks during these scrims.
Tanks: SASIN (Roadhog)
Being a flex player, Sanghyun “SASIN” Song doesn’t necessarily have, or need, a main hero. SASIN has primarily been used to fill Ria‘s role if a D.Va does not fit the team’s current comp. While he may not be as mechanically sound as Ria, having a flex player who can focus on the team’s potential weaknesses is smart in the era of hero pools. If Ria‘s other off-tank play is not up to par, SASIN may be given opportunities to shine while D.Va is not available.
Damage: GodsB (Widowmaker)
A hero pick that may garner the most hype this season is the lethal Talon sniper. Fans have already witnessed top-tier Widow gameplay from the likes of Carpe and Logix and the pick showcases the absolute best hitscan players have to offer. While Kyeongbo “GodsB” Kim also has a solid McCree, Widow has a lower chance (McCree: 54.7%, Widowmaker: 11%) at being randomly selected for this the first set of hero bans and could be a mainstay in the next meta due to her game-altering abilities.
Damage: Adora (Tracer)
At 6.6% pick rate, Tracer could be making a comeback alongside dive in the next meta. The Spark are blessed with four DPS players to choose from and the team has not announced who their starting six maybe. If the British speedster is a go-to, then Jaehwan “Adora” Kang may be a good choice to be their guy, alongside his prowess on projectile heroes like Junkrat and Hanzo who are both low in pick rates currently.
Damage: Ado (Genji)
The newest addition to the Spark has been given another chance at redemption in an ever-changing league. If an anime comeback arc has been set for Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon, then it will be when Genji is at the forefront. The Shimada brother is only at a 3.4% pick rate even though Titans player Haksal has shown: Genji is back. Whether Ado will have a chance to dominate on the pick anytime soon depends on dive is back or if Hangzhou has something else in store for him.
Damage: Bazzi (Doomfist)
During the 2019 playoffs, current two-way player Junki “Bazzi” Park popped off on Doomfist. While not known entirely for his Doomfist play, the Spark may need him to specialize in a pick like Doomfist with the plethora of player choices the team has at their disposal. Carpe and others have already shown the pick’s stall potential on certain maps. Depending on how the meta shifts, Doomfist could become more than just a stall pick in the coming weeks after just being at 6.8%.
Support: iDK/M1ka (Mercy/Lucio)
While this may be cheating the format of this article, Hojin “iDK” Park and Liu “M1ka” Jiming both fall under the same type of Overwatch support player: The Mercy/Lucio main. This usually coincides with whether the flex support goes with Ana or Zenyatta.
In terms of Mercy and Lucio’s viability in the first pool of heroes, both are on different sides of the spectrum. The current meta is dominated by an Ana (73.7%) and Lucio (88.5%) combination, which means either have a high chance of being banned. With those stats, Mercy may be viable in the next meta for both iDK or M1ka, depending on how the team decides to play their support line.
Support: BeBe (Ana)
As stated previously, Ana has been one of the most consistent picks early in the 2020 season. Ana does have a high likelihood that she does get banned, but if she does not get randomly selected, then Huichang “BeBe” Yoon would be Hangzhou’s best pick as Ana may continue to be a top pick in the OWL. If she does get banned, then Bebe would either have to find consistency in another hero that’s not named Zenyatta due to the final player.
Support: Coldest (Zenyatta)
Tong “Coldest” Xiaodong could very well be the best support in the league of Zenyatta is meta when the Spark arrive. Known for his god-like ability on the orb-slinging hero, Coldest would be the best-suited flex support in the next meta if the opportunity arises. How Hangzhou decides to combine their support players to be determined though.
We appreciate everything @overwatchleague have done to protect our fans, players and staff. The team is focusing on scrims recently. Hope to see you all soon. Please stay safe! (；´ﾟωﾟ｀人) https://t.co/OdAwb6CNUy
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) February 24, 2020
The Spark won’t be given a chance to play in the current meta due to unforeseen circumstances. Because of this, the team is potentially scrimming for games that will be under the hero pool system: not the current meta. With the first bans being affected by the hero pick rates in the two weeks leading up to the weekend of March 7, are the Spark set up for success in regards to the player’s best heroes? Or has the current meta ruined the Sparks chances at a good start to their season?
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