When Overwatch updated recently, a lot of news seemingly came all at once. On top of the Role Queue announcement that’s currently in beta testing on the PTR, a slew of hero buffs and nerfs came in under the radar. The one that could possibly mean the most, in terms of professional play, is the rework of Brigitte.
Brigitte Lindholm: A Brief History
Previously, fans of the Overwatch League have seen how Brigitte’s introduction into the game has affected the way professionals play. Her inclusion in Stage 4 of last year changed the meta on its head, and teams that were previously unimpressive became phenomenal if they had a player who could master Brigitte’s kit. Her impact has been the most profound out of the new additions to the game, and her rework speaks directly to just how much playtime she’s seen.
For the most part, Brigitte was seen as a tank-support hybrid. With a 500 health shield, and a 250 health pool overall, she was always a hard target to catch off guard. Her shield bash stun ability was able to render characters like Genji and Tracer useless, effectively pushing out the Dive meta. Her passive healing, called “Inspire”, as well as her ultimate “Rally” also provided her team with a large amount of AoE healing, making her substantial to every single team fight.
It was too much for one character. Being able to survive and fight in the front lines like a tank, while also providing a copious amount of healing as a support made her a must pick.
Where Is Brigitte Now?
Previously, GOATs reigned supreme in the Overwatch League. Brigitte was a large part of that, with her kit causing the turning point of many team fights. Combined with characters like Lucio, Reinhardt, and Zarya, Brigitte was an obvious choice for a strong team. Being able to lay down enough damage to kill tanks, as well as sustain herself in the process, made Brigitte a hot contention for many players in the League. People often complained about how strong she was for a support, and how her ability to tank things as a support character was unbalanced.
It seems like the Overwatch development team listened, and gave the people want they wanted. A complete rework of Brigitte was detailed during their unload of Role Queue, detailing just how they intended to implement these changes. With a smaller shield, her AoE healing buffed for her teammates, and her Repair Pack working on a charge system, it seems like Brigitte is headed towards a strictly support role.
How New Brigitte Affects the League
These changes, which are currently on the PTR, have already affected her playtime on the Blizzard Arena stage. Fans have noticed her phased out of the meta, with Mercy and Ana coming in to replace the once strong Swede. With Reinhardt also pushed out in favor of Orisa, Brigitte hasn’t seen much, if any, playtime during this first week of Stage 4.
Though these changes haven’t taken place yet on the stage, it’s hard to tell how often we’ll see this once meta breaking hero on stage. Mostly played by flex DPS players, fans and coaches have to wonder who they’ll swap onto Brigitte in times of need.
With 2-2-2 in place, one of the current support players has to be the one to pick up the mantle if they wish to see her succeed. Some players have suggested that, in certain compositions, Brigitte could work alongside Ana. However, with Mercy being so valuable due to Resurrection, replacing her with a less stronger version of Brigitte doesn’t seem worth it.
Where Could We See Brigitte Next
With a stronger focus on healing and support, it’s possible that Brigitte could be a very map dependent hero going forward. Fans have seen her have success on control maps, such as Ilios and Lijang Tower. These are maps where teams have chosen to run heroes that have previously seen little playtime, like Reaper. With how much damage Reaper deals out in a close distance, having a Brigitte at his side to keep him healed up on top of his passive healing could be interesting to see.
Additionally, with Wrecking Ball, Orisa, and D.va being more favorable picks over Reinhardt, it’s hard to see where else Brigitte could fit into the meta. With her shield having such a small health pool, being a standard defensive pick doesn’t suit her style anymore. Additionally, on the attack, she has to engage quicker, and her shield cannot get her through choke points with as much ease as before. Mercy, Ana, and Zenyatta are the better choices in this new meta, and it’s possible that Brigitte’s time on stage is coming to a close.
Brigitte’s Rework: The End of an Era
For the most part, her position shifts from the front line, to the back line. Brief appearances of Brigitte on stage over the past week have shown just that—she keeps back, protects the other support, and heals up a sniping Widowmaker atop a ledge to keep her sustained.
The argument still remains—does her new kit outweigh the pros of having Mercy back in the meta? Does her utility, with Flail Whip causing a sizeable knockback, outweigh Ana’s Sleep Dart? With the League updating to the newest patch during the Season Playoffs, fans won’t know until Stage 4 is over. It’s safe to say, though, that in this 2-2-2 meta, Brigitte might be getting some time off. (Tracer players rejoice.)
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
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