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Overwatch: Who to Play in the Role Queue Meta

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Three years after its release, Blizzard’s hit FPS Overwatch is finally getting role queue today! This new team composition system will enforce two supports, two DPS and two tanks in every game. This should help with ranked toxicity as players will finally be guaranteed to play the role they want every game. The question is, who should you be picking in this new role queue meta?

Hitscan DPS

Widowmaker is undoubtedly a top-tier DPS in this upcoming meta. When two-thirds of the opponent’s team can be one-shot there’s clearly a problem. I expect big Widowmaker nerfs sooner rather than later after this patch drops.

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Sombra and Tracer should benefit too in the short-term. With Brigitte getting reworked and having her armor effects significantly cut down, Tracer has a window to be strong again. Meanwhile, Sombra was already very strong and will likely remain so as long as EMP exists. After all, it’s the best ultimate in Overwatch.

The majority of ranged hitscan DPS are not overly affected by role queue. Ashe’s buff to reload speed should fix her previous inability to consistently put out damage. Equally, McCree and Soldier 76 will still be strong although not optimal. Whilst Widowmaker and Hanzo exist in their current form, it’s difficult to justify picking mid-range specialists who often struggle against snipers.

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Reaper should see a significant increase in playtime. With his power creep being designed to counter triple tank compositions, he has an easy time dealing with just two of them. It’s no surprise his incredible sustain has made him a must pick on many control the hill points, even in Overwatch League.

Projectile DPS

The clear winners in this upcoming meta are Genji, Hanzo, and Mei. Genji’s signature ultimate, Dragonblade, is back in town and as valuable as ever. When 2-2-2 is forced and squishies have to be played, nano-blade becomes one of the best ultimate combos. Meanwhile, Hanzo’s tale is similar to Widowmaker’s. You trade the convenience of a hitscan damage sniper for Storm Arrows, the most versatile damage-dealing ability in Overwatch. Honestly, he just one-shots too many characters to not be top tier.

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Mei’s role is a little more interesting. Like Reaper, she has a level of sustain unique among DPS. Many Overwatch League teams run her and Reaper in a kind of 2-2-2 proto-GOATs. Her real power is her ability to shutdown pull, pork combos. By walling off the enemy and blocking the roadhog hook, Mei can effectively save a teammate every fight. Her wall also enables complete control over chokes, unlike any other hero.

The rest of the projectile DPS is in a similar position as before. Torbjorn will continue to thrive in specific bunker compositions. The same can be said for Symmetra and Junkrat who will always be very strong on the right map. Pharah may struggle somewhat with the prevalence of snipers and Doomifst remains unchanged. He’s got a strong kit to displace tanks but a low-tier ultimate holds him back.

Main Tank

Say hello to Sigma, the crazy Dutch floating dude with a portable shield. It’s too early to understand what his role will be in this meta. The general consensus is that his kit is okay and his ultimate, Gravitic Flux, is very strong. His skill ceiling is so high that it’s going to be months before we really understand how to play him. For the time being, we can assume he’s a decent enough pick, especially with the countless ultimate combos possible.

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Unfortunately, I fear the old German tank suffers as much as before. Reinhardt’s problem is simple. As long as Orisa exists, he can’t push forward without crazy shield management. A shield on cooldown will almost always beat a portable shield that requires recharging. Even his new ability, Steadfast, which off-sets 30% of all knockback will only do so much. Either he needs more or Orisa needs less.

Winston will remain the default main tank for most dive compositions. He is great at creating space for dive DPS such as Tracer and Genji but otherwise offers little. He is countered by a lot of things, including the currently meta bunker composition, so I don’t expect him to get as much playtime as the other three.

OFF-TANK

Off-tanks in Overwatch widely depend on their main tank to be viable choices at higher ranks. Roadhog excels when Orisa is strong, which she is. Zarya is best when Reinhardt is strong, which he kind of isn’t. Both of these two are well balanced so I think Blizzard should look at their imbalance between their main tanks before touching these.

Surprisingly, I actually think Hammond may be a stronger pick than D.Va in role queue. Hammond excels in unorganized environments where people don’t bother to counter-pick him. With plenty of low HP targets for him to go after, his ultimate plus slam combo should be lethal. D.Va is still strong since she can eat half the ultimates in the game. Because somehow that’s still a thing. However, multiple nerfs to her defense matrix leave her in a far weaker place than before.

MAIN SUPPORT

Ever since her Nano Boost buff way back in July 2018, Ana has been a strong pick. Unsurprisingly, this is still the case. With Genji back and less D.Va than ever to eat your cooldowns, Ana is arguably the best overall support.

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Mercy will undoubtedly thrive as you would expect with any team that requires two DPS. Just about every DPS in the game benefits from a Mercy pocket. You can play her with snipers, mid-range hitscan and heavy bunker compositions. Finally, resurrection is, as ever, a very strong ability that can flip a fight in a matter of seconds.

Both Baptiste and Moira offer the best sustain in the game. Baptiste is at his best when his immortality field can cover multiple members of his team. Bastion especially benefits from those few extra seconds of well-timed invulnerability. Moira is somewhat of a heal-bot with zero utility in her kit. Her anti-crowd control buff got removed so Blizzard may have to find something else. Still, if it’s easy and plentiful healing you want, she’s okay.

FLEX SUPPORT

Brigitte is in a strange place after her rework. Gone is all her sustain but in its place is reliable healing output. She still has her stun but after countless nerfs, it’s questionable how strong it actually is now. After all, she doesn’t have the ability to get a burst damage kill of it like McCree. Honest prediction? She’s set to be yet another heal-bot who can be played around far too easily. Expect buffs to either her healing or damage output down the line.

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Everyone’s favorite football lover Lucio is a huge loser in this meta. Whilst still fun to play there’s no doubt his role in GOATs was his strongest to date. If there’s one saving grace it’s that Reinhardt needs him to have any chance of beating Orisa. Good Lucio players should find new value speeding slower compositions around.

Zenyatta’s discord is obviously very strong. If communicated well and your team follows up on it, nothing will survive. The downside is Zenyatta himself is very frail and with snipers expected to be the meta, positional errors will be fatal. Also, other supports are often preferred in bunker heavy compositions thanks to their survivability.