Overwatch Hero Meta Report #8: i thought this was a tracer meta?

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Look at this Infographic, isn't it pretty? If you don't think so, let me know exactly why in the comments of the Reddit thread

Opening Thoughts

What’s up guys and gals, CaptainPlanet here to present Overwatch Hero Meta Report #8: I Thought This Was a Tracer Meta? Where did all the Tracers go!? This weekend’s One Nation of Gamers Tournament (there was no Gosugamer Tourneys this week) seemed to be dominated by Tracer-based strategies especially in the Grand Finals between Reunited and Cloud9. There were several instances where a 6-Tracer Defense was even deployed to some success, striking some similarities to the D.Va-spam strategies of Beta-1. However, as the data shows, Tracer wasn’t nearly the Golden Girl that the exciting Finals matches made her out to be -- in fact she's taken quite a hit in overall usage from last week's peak. How could this be? All of this and more will be revealed...let’s go!


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Week 8's Tiering Results: for the extensive Map-by-map, Offense/Defense/King of the Hill Raw data, Click HERE

I thought this was a tracer meta?

Hints of a Mystery

There’s something fishy happening in the Overwatch Competitive Meta this week. The two-day One Nation of Gamers Tournament featured the best teams in the Beta  from around the world with the highest tournament prize pool to date -- meaning that every team brought the most innovative strategies out of their tool-sheds in hopes of taking the grand prize. Despite some truly wacky lineups making appearances throughout the Bracket -- Cloud9 even ran an Offensive Bastion-Payload-Deathball with two Reinhardts and a Mercy riding the cart -- the only thing viewers and casters alike could talk about was the dominance of Tracer. The spunky Brit dominated the discussion and charts of last week’s Meta Report: becoming the first non-Support Hero to break into the S-Tier since its inception. This week, however, Tracer didn’t even break into A-Tier: netting only a 73.53% probability of being picked during a given match. How could a Hero who was routinely being trotted out as a 6 Hero stack on Defense (and I did count those, mind you) end up with a lower pick rate than four other Heroes? Can Tracer be overpowered and in need of a nerf without the raw numbers to support this claim?

Captainplanet Solves the Case!

Yes, she absolutely can. As I hinted before, there’s something fishy going on with the Meta this week -- and it isn’t related to Hero Picks. The real reason Tracer’s numbers don’t match up to her reputation lies in the Maps that the teams picked in the ONOG Tournament. This week, for some unknown reason, the participating teams decided to play the Maps in which Tracer is dominant at a much, much lower rate than last week. The numbers are telling:

MapWeek 7 Sides PlayedWeek 8 Sides Played
Route 6688
Lijiang Tower126

This week, teams were simply sick of King of the Hill Maps -- which unfortunately for Tracer are her bread and butter in the Competitive scene. While Tracer did dominate the few maps she was abused on (Route 66 and Hollywood -- you can thank Reunited for that), her overall numbers were deflated because of the lack of King of the Hill Maps played. Perhaps this is the Pros' way of signalling that they are already sick and tired of the “Sudden Death” mode in Overwatch’s Ranked play; they’ve played too many high-stakes Nepal and Lijiang Tower maps during the first week of its release that burned out by the time this weekend's tournament rolled around. All of this aside: anyone watching the Grand Finals of the ONOG Tournament would agree that Tracer needs a nerf. I’m steadfastly on the side of allowing Hero-stacking to occur, but seeing six Tracers on a single team was just too much. 



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This week in Offense/Defense Bias Reporting, there’s a been a new development: Balance! This is the first week where nearly all of the 21 Overwatch Heroes showed very little bias towards either side of the game. Torbjorn stands out as the obvious exception -- doing most of his work on Numbani where multiple chokepoints give him options for where to place his Turret. This week’s nearly S-Tier DPS standout, McCree, was only used one more time on Defense than Offense -- speaking to how valuable his high-damage output is on both sides of a match. Overwatch’s Golden Girl, Tracer, had one of the higher biases towards Defense: due primarily to Reunited’s “creative” 6-Tracer Defensive Stall strategy. Another Hero of note -- Widowmaker -- also had an even split because currently the best way to deal with a Widowmaker on Defense is to snipe her -- with a Widowmaker on Offense. 


Map Breakdown - Travelling to: dorado

Brief Map Summary

In the third week of my Map Spotlight series -- where I choose one map to feature regarding map-specific Hero usage in the current state of the Meta -- we’ll be travelling to Dorado. Dorado is a Payload-only Map (as opposed to Payload-Control Point hybrids like King's Row) whose Payload path runs through several dog-leg turns and eventually leads to a cramped, indoor area for its final escort leg. Teams often put up a strong Defense on the escort leg, lining up their team on a bridge which looks down upon the Attackers pushing the payload uphill. This makes Heroes who thrive on the high ground -- like Junkrat and Widow -- premium starter picks. The second escort leg opens up into a courtyard surrounding a fountain which has covered walkways as well as rooms above and below surrounding it. Offensive teams this week used Junkrat to scare Line-of-Sighting McCrees, Reapers, and Soldier 76s out of these hidey-holes, and Widowmaker stationed far behind the action to take them out. As teams move into the inner Arena, things get a bit less decisive. Attacking teams will often use a Winston to take control of the high-walled platforms, but Defending teams will also try to counter with their own Winston. This is a prime area for a Defensive D.Va Ultimate because the final checkpoint offers little chance to hide from its explosion -- creating huge area-denial for teams wishing to stall. This final checkpoint is also an area where Mei actually sees play, its cramped surroundings provides the perfect setup for devastating wall-offs.


Individual Hero stats

McCree is this week’s MVP for Dorado: many teams even used two copies of him on Offense and Defense for all legs of the payload escort. McCree was a standout in this week's Meta in general, but his popularity on Dorado helped push him nearly to S-Tier. At the time of this writing, McCree is Overwatch’s strongest, well-rounded Hitscan character and Dorado's verticality that is accessible simply by walking (McCree has no ability to allow him to reach high sniping spots) as well as its corners for him to peek around -- leads to his dominance. These same corners, nooks, and crannies give Junkrat a popularity boost on Dorado: his grenade spamming denies large areas needed for attacking teams to operate and his Rip Tire gets a boost from being able to hide in the walkways throughout the Map. Reinhardt is the premium Tank on Dorado -- chosen for his massive Shield’s ability to cover almost the entire width of the escort path at times. Winston will sometimes be used briefly to chase a pesky Widowmaker from her perch, and D.Va as well on the final Defense for her Ultimate’s large area denial.

Team Composition stats

For each control point of the Dorado, I tallied the varying compositions that teams used on Offense and Defense. I then constructed an “uber comp” for each leg, based on these data as well as some weighting to compositions which succeeded in either Attacking or Defending. This week, we finally saw some variation in the lineups that teams brought on Offense for Dorado -- perhaps due to how strongly favored Defense is on the first point. Besides rolling out with two McCrees in their lineup, Attacking teams tried many different ways to break through the Defensive setup on Dorado’s overlooking wall: sniping with a Widowmaker, chasing them off with a Winston, or just trying to get the big teamwipe with Zarya. Moving through to the second leg of the escort path, teams opted for Junkrat’s grenade spam to create space on the second checkpoint, but as they moved into the final leg things got confusing again. The closed-in indoor area of the final leg allows Defensive lineups to stall much more effectively, so once again Attacking teams tried several ways to break through, using Zarya, Widowmaker, or Winston for the same reasons as the first checkpoint. 

Defense, as usual, showed a good deal of variability. Given time to set up an entrenched Defense on the first point, teams chose to post a McCree and Widowmaker in high areas overlooking the ramp leading to the first checkpoint, then add a Symmetra to set up an unreachable early Teleporter to seal the Defensive stand. Junkrat filled out the DPS for the Defense -- spamming grenades from a safe position to create artificial choke-points. On the second point, teams used Soldier 76 to hold down the wide-open area, but were torn on whether to use Pharah to further boost their open-area damage or to use a Reaper to roam the adjacent rooms and hallways. On the final point, teams made use of Defensive Winstons to take control of the high ground, and used Reaper, D.Va, or Mei to stall out in the circular arena.

Things I like and Dislike

1. Ranked Mode is Upon Us: This week, Blizzard introduced (for better or for worse) Ranked Ladder in Overwatch’s Closed Beta. Finally, pros get a way to measure themselves against the best of the best -- or do they? The Beta currently barely has enough invited players for the system to work, and that’s without it bugging out. Blizz -- please invite more players (hint, hint).

2. Symmetra got nerfed: And I called it! Symmetra received a much-needed nerf to her Shields, from 50-25, but this didn’t solve our Tracer problem. You’re next!!

3. IDDQD’s sudden roster change: This week in IDDQD news: their Offensive Ringers Mendokusaii and Tvique left the team along with Coach Roflgator. I’m sure there was more to the story in the background, but perhaps this was why IDDQD hadn’t picked up a sponsor after many weeks of dominance?

4. Speaking of which, The Life of Hanzo picks up a sponsor -- Team Liquid! Legitimate gaming orgs continue to make their debut in the Overwatch scene, bolstering its credibility. Congratulations to The Life of Hanzo!

Icarus's corner

This week, as always, I partnered with Icarus to compile the data necessary for both of our Meta Reports. If you'd prefer your Meta Reports in audio/video form, head over to his YouTube channel, or check back here around every Wednesday of the week! This week, he finished early!


Check it out, you'll love it :)

Final Thoughts

I'd like to give a special shoutout this week to Fishstix: without his behind and in-front-of the scenes work putting on the One Nation of Gamers Tournament there would be no Meta Report for this week! This Tournament was the culmination of many weeks of effort and was a great success -- congratulations  to Cloud9 for winning the largest prize pool thus far in Overwatch. As always -- if you have any feedback be sure to let me know on Twitter or in my weekly Reddit threads! 

Until next time,



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