Stage 4 has brought with it a new era in competitive Overwatch. The introduction of 2-2-2 has shaken the league meta to its core, removing a style of play that ran rampant throughout the entirety of the season leading up to this point. In GOATS, or 3-3, heroes like Brigitte, Reinhardt and Zarya were staples. Now, heroes like Orisa, Roadhog and Mei reign supreme.
Looking back through the last bit of Stage 3 and projecting ahead through Stage 4, here are the heroes whose stock will continue to plummet and which heroes may find their stock on the rise to close the season.
Stocks are Dropping: Sell Now
As mentioned in the initial section, Zarya has seen a cataclysmic drop off in playtime and success rate in Stage 4. Her style leans so much on being able to brawl with the enemy team up close, which is not conducive to the double sniper and Hog/Orisa compositions that have been run early on. The only place Zarya sees value, currently, is in her ability to provide bubbles to allies who are halted by an Orisa. Outside of that, her utility seems slim.
It has been a very long time since there has been a meta without the Omnic monk at the core but it seems like that may finally be where the league is heading. As it is now, discord orbs still provide lots of utility for a team and can help finish off tankier heroes. However, Ana’s grenade, Baptiste’s Immortality Field and Mercy’s Resurrection seem like they all bring more to the table in the current meta. Not to mention that Moira is about the get a sizeable buff and Brigitte will look much more like a true support hero when patch 1.39 rolls out. All of these factors do not bode well in Zenyatta’s favor and he looks to only become weaker and weaker while characters like Mei and Reaper roam the battleground.
Stocks are Climbing: Buy Now
This first one applies primarily to Control, rather than payload or hybrid maps. This is because Control maps allow Reaper to do what he is best at, fight in the thick of things, up close and personal. He was used at a much higher rate than he’s ever been played in the OWL and this number should continue to climb as more teams see his value. Reapers ability to avoid crowd control effects with his Wraith mode makes him great against Orisa, Mei and Roadhog. Additionally, his primary fire does so much damage that, even if he’s hacked by a Sombra, can still be massively effective. Outside of a semi-weak ultimate ability, Reaper ought to become a mainstay for Control maps.
McCree is another DPS that saw some decent usage in the first week of professional 2-2-2 play. But, not nearly enough. His stock should prove to rise as a counter to certain heroes on the rise right now. Heroes like Pharah, Genji and Tracer are extremely weak to McCree because of his range and Flashbang ability. After the seventh Dragonblade torched an entire backline, maybe some OWL teams should have considered a little bit of counterplay in their backlines. In any case, McCree’s kit is still very strong and he should prove to rise in relevancy at the stage moves forward.
What melts ice? Torbjorn’s Molten Core. That’s right, Torbjorn may just be a hero that finally sneaks into the meta in certain situations in Stage 4. In the final day of action, the Boston Uprising used a Torbjorn to help get auto-damage on the Genji play of the Chengdu Hunters on Blizzard World, which seems like a strategy that could reasonably help to deal with the pesky ninja. In the end, Torb offers an ultimate that can lock out certain areas, has solid close-range damage, and a turret that can auto-lock targets. This is a lot of utility that may prove useful moving forward to counter certain comps. Hex breaks this down more in the video below.
Still Anyone’s Meta
With such a small sample size, it’s hard to say for certain which heroes fans can expect more of in the shifting meta within 2-2-2. Some heroes, on their own, are simply better than others as it stands, however, this does not mean that they will fit into the meta that the league settles on. There is still a chance for things to turn in a major way as coaching staffs and teams work through counters and what their roster will be most successful playing. But, from what has been shown so far, expect these four heroes to be used either more or less than they have been so far.
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
You can also shoot me a line on Discord! (GoopyKnoopy#2205)
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
“From Our Haus to Yours”