The introduction of Sigma took the competitive scene by storm because he was the first main tank that many believed wasn’t actually a main tank, but he did have a shield. Sigma’s 1500 health barrier is able to placed on any high ground, negating the advantage a Widowmaker or a Hanzo could have. Additionally, his ability to eat and negate abilities akin to D.Va’s Defense Matrix makes him considerably stronger than his mech-clad counterpart, especially since it actually negates more abilities than Defense Matrix. Sigma’s damage output can rival most off-tanks as well, since his primary fire does a maximum of 120 damage per two shots, and an added melee increases that to 150, meaning two well-placed primary fires and melees can kill most non-tank targets.
Two Shields or Three?
With Sigma’s barrier, coupled with his new duo partner Orisa, the amount of shielding up at any given time can be up to 2400 health. Additionally, with enough rotation, neither of these shields will be down for long. The frustration for this stems from the additional increased use of Symmetra, whose ultimate ability is also a large shield and brings up the total of the maximum shield health at any given time to 7400. If both teams have those three characters as well, the amount of shielding that can be on the map total is 14800, which is an obscene amount that has never been seen in Overwatch’s history. However, double shield usage has also led to some interesting heroes being more viable than before, namely, Doomfist.
Doomfist is an interesting DPS Hero as he is neither hitscan nor projectile, but melee. His kit is all about getting in the enemy’s face and pummeling them down. That is something that shields just can’t protect against. With immobile Heroes like Sigma, Orisa and Symmetra, Doomfist has an easy time hitting his abilities, dealing damage and protecting himself with the shields he generates. In fact, he has become so viable that people are starting to call for his nerf, citing the 2-2-2 meta and shield meta combined make him all too powerful.
There should be some changes to CC. If Sombra hacks Doomfist, she should instantly have EMP. If Mccree flashbangs Doomfist, it should reset his flashbang. If Ana sleeps Doomfist, OK now that the Doomfist mains stopped reading let’s plan to infiltrate blizzard and delete Doomfist
— Fran (@FRANA_OW) September 2, 2019
What about the Supports?
On the support side of things, it can be a bit difficult. With the prevalence of Pharah trying to flank enemies sitting behind a shield, a Mercy is almost required. Even without Pharah, Mercy is usually viable when DPS are viable. In a 2-2-2 meta DPS are forced to exist and thus comes Mercy.
However, that also leads to the problem of the flex healer. Who can be run alongside a Mercy that has a defensive ult, but can heal through shields? Ana is a favorite even despite her inability to heal through barriers, simply for her high healing output. The way it seems to be played is Mercy heals targets in front of shields and Ana heals those behind them. While viable on paper, the amount of movement in a teamfight can be difficult for an inexperienced or pressured Ana to deal with. This prevents her from helping a fight where the rest of her team wants to push an advantage.
Zenyatta may also come to mind for healing through shields. But, with limited mobility and his ever-exposed weakness to dives from a Doomfist, he is almost impossible to keep safe.
Lastly, the other support duo that many are trying is the Lucio and Moira combo. Lucio is able to speed Moira into and out of fights, which is crucial when she has limited range for healing aside from her orbs as well as not being able to heal through enemy barriers anymore. Moira’s ability to keep herself alive is fantastic for solo queue, but in organized play it’s pretty important to have healers that can effectively heal their team as opposed to keeping only themselves alive.
Barriers Control the Meta
The meta is currently quite tanky, not because of the Heroes in it, but because of the number of external barriers that the enemy must go through before they can reach the actual targets they want to attack. Sigma has brought about one of the most shield-heavy metas. It might stay that way until a significant change is made or a new Hero is introduced that has an impact on a level that Sigma has had.
Follow The Game Haus for the latest on all things sports and esports: