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September 2019 Overwatch Tier List: Observe the Barrier!

Sigma Overwatch
There is now an updated version of this tier list for November 2019/Season 19! It can be found by clicking this link.

Season 18 is officially here, and with it comes the introduction of a meta centered around barriers and how to play around them. Sigma has been one of Overwatch’s first characters to come into the game and have an immediate impact at both the casual and professional level. His Experimental Barrier has become a centerpiece in most competitive games, forcing players to either synergize with it or counter it.

As such, this tier list reflects heroes that are both individually well-kitted and how well they fit within the current meta. With each month, there will be a new tier list released with updates coming throughout the month to reflect patch updates.

[9/24 Update: Overwatch’s latest PTR Patch Notes have been released. Although these will likely not go into effect until October, they are currently in testing on the PTR. As such, this list will not reflect the changes yet to come.]

Here is the current tier list for September 2019, with each heroes movement reflected from the August 2019 tier list.

Tier 1: Optimal heroes with high win-rates and synergy

  • Orisa
  • Sigma (+2)
  • Symmetra (+3)
  • Reaper
  • Zarya (+2)
  • Moira (+1)
  • Mei

The biggest shocker in this first tier has been the sudden rise of Symmetra. This has come as a product of the barrier meta that has arisen. Her ability to charge her beam from shields allows her to put out insane amounts of damage very quickly, making her both a good counter to the barriers as well as a good character to pair alongside it.

Because of Sigma’s more mobile shield use, Reaper and Mei still remain good close-quarters heroes that have good survivability. Moira is much the same way, allowing her to stay in the fight with the team.

[Related: Beginners Tips for Playing Sigma in Overwatch]

Overall, this is a strangely tank-centric meta. The combo of tanks, whether it be Sigma/Orisa, Sigma/Zarya, Sigma/Wrecking Ball or some other combination, will determine the pace of the game and shapes which DPS and healers are viable. Given the current meta, Symmetra, Reaper and Mei are most often viable.

Zarya overwatch
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Tier 2: Good alternatives to Tier 1 and still viable overall

  • Wrecking Ball (+1)
  • Doomfist (+2)
  • Winston
  • Hanzo (-1)
  • Ana (-1)
  • Lucio (+1)
  • D.Va (-1)
  • Pharah (+1)
  • Baptiste (-1)

Mobile heroes like Doomfsit and Wrecking Ball climb up to Tier 2 for their ability to get around shields and force a quicker tempo. This is often a good way to either mesh with Sigma as a pseudo-dive style composition or counter an Orisa/Sigma composition. In the same vein, heroes like Winston, Lucio or Pharah do well in their mobility and ability to work around barriers.

[Related: Biggest Takeaways from Overwatch’s Latest PTR Patch Notes]

Ana and Baptiste drop out of the top tier along with Hanzo due to bunker being less powerful overall. They are still strong behind an Orisa, but less powerful due to their lack of mobility.

Junkrat Overwatch
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Tier 3: Good situational picks but less strong overall

  • Reinhardt
  • Mercy
  • Bastion
  • Junkrat
  • Roadhog (-2)
  • Brigitte (-1)
  • Sombra (-1)
  • Torbjorn (-1)
  • Genji (-1)
  • McCree (-1)

These are all heroes that struggle to be viable in the early stages of Season 18, but could enter into the mix more as the meta develops. Reinhardt, for example, some believe could be viable as a way to push tempo and get past barriers. However, that just hasn’t been apparent in pro or ladder play at the current time.

Others like Genji, Bastion or Sombra are good map-specific picks but are far from being serviceable in multiple situations. These are still heroes that can be strong as comfort picks and can dominate at lower ELOs, but don’t look for these to carry a team through the majority of competitive play.

Tier 4: Difficult to have success in the current meta

  • Ashe
  • Solider: 76
  • Tracer
  • Zenyatta (-1)
  • Widowmaker (-1)

[Related: Best Hero Pick for Each Competitive Rank in Overwatch]

Heroes like Zenyatta and Widowmaker haven’t been nerfed but have fallen to the bottom tier because of changes made to other heroes and the style of the current meta. As with the tier above, these can still be effective comfort picks and may very well enter into the meta at a later point. For now, tend away from these heroes in favor of other, more dominant heroes in the current meta.

Widowmaker overwatch
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
As a reminder, this tier list is currently operating off of the latest live patch, This will be updated as patches continue to come out throughout the month of September. In the meantime, stay tuned for more news on Overwatch and the OWL here, at The Game Haus.


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