Overwatch League


The Overwatch League Meta Is the Most Stale It Has Ever Been

Abhimannu Das
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The Overwatch League off-season meta features a brand new team composition but the lack of hero diversity is concerning.
Five heroes have over a 90% pick rate while every other hero is at a sub -10% pick rate.
There has never been an off-season meta where a hero has seen over 82% pickrate until now.

Overwatch League’s post-season highlighted a very warped meta where only five heroes are viable. While players have been competing in the Overwatch 2 sandbox for months before the game’s release, the Overwatch League meta has never been this stale. Currently, the only “viable” strategy deployed by pro teams involves Winston, Reaper, Sojourn, Kiriko, and Lucio. There has never been an off-season meta where a hero has seen over 82% pickrate until now. 

Why Overwatch 2’s esports viewership might dip

If you have been following Overwatch esports for a while, you will know about the “GOATS” meta. The name is an abbreviation of “go all tanks and supports” and it was a strategy that was deployed by a team of the same name as well. DPS heroes became nonexistent and players started running triple tanks and triple DPS for several months. 

Even during the GOATS meta, pro teams decided to run some counter-picking and map-specific team compositions. But during the current Overwatch League 2022 off-season, the meta is incredibly stale to the point that the top five heroes have over 90% pick rate each while the sixth most-played hero does not even have a 10% pick rate.

There are only five heroes that are being played and it is definitely a problem when it comes to esports viewership. Every game feels like watching a mirror matchup between two teams and regardless of which map teams are competing in, the team composition rarely ever changes. 

The pickrates for the top five heroes range from 92.6% to 100% which is very concerning considering there are 35 heroes. Fans in the Competitive Overwatch subreddit and other social media platforms feel that 5v5 is to blame. There is less experimentation possible as there is just one tank.

But something that a lot of fans agree with is that the meta itself is not a problem. Winston and Reaper have broken into the meta and Kiriko is seeing a lot of play despite being the newest hero on the block. The team comp is fun to watch but the lack of diversity is concerning. We can expect some balance changes down the line before the 2023 season kicks off with Sojourn being a major red flag in the current meta. 

The next round of balance changes should take place in the coming weeks as we slowly head to the 2023 competitive season.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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