After a strange few months in competitive Overwatch, the hero pool system has been removed from all ranks of the game. Players may go back to one-tricking their favorite heroes, without worry that they will be randomly removed from play. Now that all heroes are readily available, the meta has warped back a bit towards more familiar times. At least a few new characters got to see a large uptick in play time.
Now that hero pools are gone, players have noticed how powerful most of the hit-scan DPS characters are. Ashe and McCree most noticeably are almost permanent picks regardless of maps. If the opposing team doesn’t field a McCree, then Tracer becomes a perfect pick to hunt down the enemy Ashe. There are plenty of players brave enough to play Echo still, but it almost guarantees a pocket healer in Mercy or Brigitte.
The biggest change heading into July are the large buffs to Genji. His damage has been increased indirectly, now that his shurikens are closer together. With more shurikens likely to hit the target, Genji can build Dragon Blades much quicker. Overwatch ranked may just be heading into a “Nano-Blade” meta soon enough, but there is still plenty of crowd control to slow down the deadly projectile DPS.
The following tier list exists precisely to help guide players through this more dynamic meta, reflecting how individually well-kitted Overwatch’s 32 heroes are and how well they synergize with other powerful heroes. With each month, there will be a new tier list released to update changes in each hero’s performance from month-to-month (May 2020) so be sure to check back next month to see what changes lie ahead.
Tier 1: Optimal Heroes with High Win Rates and Synergy
With the addition of hero pools way back in March, many would be surprised to see Ashe rise to the top of the tier list. Teams began to experiment with Ashe after prominent hit-scan characters like McCree and Widowmaker were banned, and slowly came around to the idea that she may be worth trying in official matches. Thanks to a small buff to her reload speed, Ashe was the surprise meta pick for a lot of teams. Her mobility with Coach Gun allows her to dodge dangerous situations unlike McCree. In a meta filled with crowd control, her jump is her most valuable asset.
Echo remains an extremely common pick, despite her recent nerfs. Her flexibility and overall damage output continues to be an incredibly dangerous threat, and in turn a highly picked DPS. Meanwhile, Orisa and Sigma remain mainstays as popular tanks picks, even if they aren’t necessarily player’s favorite picks. They oddly enough have strong synergy with both Ashe and Echo, and serve as a natural deterrent to a lot of different strategies. If the most recent experimental changes go through, Brigitte’s time in tier 1 may be coming to an end.
Tier 2: Good Alternatives to Tier 1 and Still Viable Overall
The characters in the second tier are some of the most commonly played characters – and for good reason. Reinhardt and Zarya have found plenty of success on the ladder, and remain a main-stay for duo-queue tanks. Tracer has seen a large uptick in play thanks to Brig’s prevalence and teams forcing Dive compositions. Baptiste is undoubtedly one of the stronger supports at the moment, as his immortality field prevents so many ultimates from getting value.
The odd name in this list has to be Torbjorn. Once a throw pick, Torbjorn has cemented himself as one of the stronger picks on control and assault maps. Molten Core is surprisingly tough to attack through, and the turret poses as an excellent defense against flanking damage dealers. Overload grants Torbjorn tons of durability, making him a great brawler in close quarters.
Tier 3: Good Situational Picks but Less Strong Overall
- Soldier: 76
- Wrecking Ball
Tier 3 may be bursting at the seams with characters, but Overwatch is in a good spot when it comes to competitive play. Several characters in the third tier are excellent choices for a few maps like Symmetra on Lijiang Tower or Wrecking Ball on Illios. Characters like Pharah and Winston are sometimes comfort picks for players, and in ranked playing a comfort pick can sometimes make a huge difference.
The surprise for sure is Mei’s sudden drop in the tier list. After the crowd control nerfs from the previous experimental patch, Mei’s freeze is noticeably less effective. More players are finding ways to dodge Ice Wall, or just simply shooting through it. Lucio also finds himself towards the bottom of the list, due to his now niche role in the game. When Reinhardt and Zarya aren’t really the meta, Lucio tends to not find playtime as well. Sound Barrier is still an amazing ultimate, but teams have leaned towards Rally and Nano Boost to win engagements pretty quickly.
Tier 4: Difficult to Have Success With in the Current Meta
The good news for Overwatch ranked is that there is the lowest tier list is continually shrinking. Unfortunately, it’s the usual suspects at the bottom of the barrel. Roadhog is slowly climbing the ranks in professional play, but he has produced some pretty mixed results. In ranked, he continues to be pretty much a feast of famine type of character. Teams will either be walking into his hook at all moments of the match, or he will be the “ultimate battery” that many know him to be. From a strategic point, Roadhog can be effectively paired with Orisa and Wrecking Ball, but coordinating with random people can be much more taxing than just going on long flanks.
Bastion is still the cheese pick he always has been, even if Seoul decided to run him on Hollywood for some reason. Sombra serves only as a true counter pick to some of the characters in tier 3. EMP is easily one of the strongest ultimates in the game, but capitalizing on such a short window can prove to be too much for 6 random players.
As a reminder, this tier list is currently operating off of the latest live patch, 188.8.131.52. A new list will be published in July.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
You can like The Game Haus on Facebook! And make sure to follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other TGH writers.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @esportsbrock for more fantasy analysis and banter. #BostonUp!