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Overwatch World Cup Meta Review

owwc 2019 prelims

The Overwatch World Cup concluded Saturday with the United States claiming a 3-0 victory over China in the Finals. After three grueling days of matches, what seemed to be a predictable meta saw more hero diversity than predicted. While certain compositions still took the forefront, here is a look at the notable appearances in each position.

Tank

First of all, double-shield was by far the most played tank line. Orisa was played on just about every map at some point. The strength of her Halt ability plus being able to have two moveable shields with Sigma made her a must-pick. Sigma was also played most of the time, but Roadhog saw some significant gameplay including several Hollywood defenses. His recent buff increased his Scrap Gun ammo from five to six. This provides greater shield pressure while retaining his pick potential through the Halt-Hook combo.

Overwatch World Cup Meta
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

The rest of the tanks save for Zarya were played to varying degrees of success. Team China played around with Quilin “Guxue” Xu on the fan-favorite Winston as a main tank. They paired this with Wrecking Ball or D.Va. But that was torn apart by Team USA’s Bastion and Mei. D.Va similarly saw little use, being mostly outclassed by Sigma at the moment. So likewise she saw decreased value in that matchup.

Perhaps the most surprising tank pick was Reinhardt. Despite limited effectiveness, USA’s Matthew “Super” DeLisi pulled out the hero in both the semifinals and finals, on King’s Row and Nepal Village respectively. Paired with a Symmetra on Nepal, he pulled off an incredible teleport-Earthshatter. But on both maps swapped back to Orisa to finish them off with a win.

Damage

Overwatch World Cup Meta
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

With the recent nerf to Doomfist’s Rocket Punch, the hero is not in as dominant a position as he was in the Overwatch League Postseason. This opened the door for more variety in picks, but no one could have predicted the variety of heroes played in this World Cup.

Reaper and Mei were go-to picks alongside Doomfist due to their close-range lethality. Another popular pick in this meta was Bastion due to his high shield pressure. He was a staple of USA’s strategy and was mostly successful. Against this, a few teams chose to run a Sombra since her hack takes Bastion out of turret form. But while her EMP can shut down an entire team, she currently struggles to generate it fast enough for the pick to be worth it.

Pharah saw a decent amount of play due to the poke potential and high burst damage of her Barrage, especially when paired with a Nano-boost. The response to this was for several teams to bring out a Widowmaker or McCree as Hafþór “Hafficool” Hákonarson did against Ireland. Hanzo was also used as he can pressure a Pharah and also has incredible pick potential if landing headshots against the enemy backline.

Unexpected Damage Picks

Perhaps the most unexpected choices seen in the World Cup meta were the seemingly-forgotten duo of Genji and Tracer. Both Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Yi “Jinmu” Hu played Genji for their respective teams. At first this made no sense as Genji can do little against shields and cannot deflect Moira’s Biotic Grasp or Mei’s Endothermic Blaster. So on Sinatraa’s first Dragon Blade, the casters noted “It’s terrible!”

Overwatch World Cup Meta
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

However, Jake “Jake” Lyon explained that if the Genji can reflect the opposing Moira’s Damage Orb while the friendly Moira uses her own, it provides enough damage to force the other team to reposition. The uptick in Tracer play is likely due to more teams running Ana as support, as Tracer excels at harassing her. Additionally using a Pulse Bomb in combination with a Halt can get easy picks if done correctly.

The most shocking pick of the tournament has to be on Nepal Village where Sinatraa played Junkrat. It did not go particularly well, but was fun to witness nevertheless.

Support

The Support lineups were fairly diverse but came in predictable duos. The standard meta composition necessitates a Lucio and Moira as they are the best when there are many shields, especially since Moira’s Coalescence disregards them altogether. Lucio’s Soundbarrier is a solid counter to Sigma’s Gravitic Flux, so he becomes a staple in the lineup.

A lot of teams would run Ana alongside Mercy. This was usually in compositions with a Pharah, so the Mercy pockets her and the Ana stays with the rest of the team. This lets her provide the massive healing necessary.

Overwatch World Cup Meta
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Baptiste was run almost exclusively alongside Bastion in bunker setups. The Immortality Field is crucial in keeping Bastion alive since he is immobile in turret form. Plus the Amplification Matrix in front of a Bastion creates a near-impenetrable wall of damage that the other team must avoid.

Zenyatta saw very limited time onstage as he is one of the heroes that struggles the most in the double-shield meta. Yet South Korea used him in their attack against Team USA’s Bastion bunker on Hollywood. The idea was to force the Bastion to reposition through poke damage from Pharah, then place the Discord Orb on him so that he takes more damage when the team-fight started. The plan worked eventually, but shortly after South Korea captured the point they swapped back to a Moira.

Featured Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

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