You Be You, I’ll Be Support – Live Meta

Welcome back to the second and final part of this series! In the previous instalment (found here) we analysed how our main support heroes performed in the competitive meta during the beta process. Now it is our turn to look how the changes implemented at launch affected the live game and how much the meta has shifted since. This time, we only have two different weeks, so, in this case, we will drop the previous points system and instead will only name the MVP’s of the week. We will also analyse how the heroes performed during following weeks after the live version premiered.

(Image Source: GosuGamers) 

Rules:

-The analysed weeks are only the ones in which support heroes were either buffed or nerfed.

(The information on the team compositions has been taken from CaptainPlanet)

We Are Live 

(Image Source: Blizzard) 

Following the timeline of nerfs, Lúcio’s popularity declined and teams started to prefer Mercy. While Lúcio’s aura based healing was a great way to ensure that all teammates were protected, the professionals decided to use their Mercy’s based on her high heal output despite being only for one target. Symmetra continued to be used as a situational character, only picked when the map was suitable for her playstyle. Zenyatta suffered during these first few weeks: his healing abilities were not as good as the ones provided by Mercy and his debuffing required players to be in the line of fire, making Zenyatta an easy target with his meagre 150 HP.

The weeks passed and the decline of King Of The Hill maps made teams prefer Mercy over Lúcio (who’s abilities are far more functional during KotH maps). Mercy also benefits from a high reward ultimate that can bring back the whole team if necessary and when team wipes are absurdly common, this resurrection is pivotal. During this time both Mercy and Lúcio ruled as the 2 staple heroes in team compositions, often paired together to ensure everybody gets a health point. It is important to note that when the one hero limit was lifted Lúcio is the king of the beta, but when it is utilised, as it was here, Mercy strikes back as the queen. But suddenly something changed, and an old hero came back.

MVP’s: Mercy + Lúcio

 

Ana is Coming to Town: Week 1

(Image Source: Blizzard) 

 

On July 12, Overwatch announced its much-teased 22nd hero: Ana. Introduced as a support, she filled the game with new mechanics such as Sleep Darts and Anti-Healing grenades. She was promised to be a game-changer, but the real game-changer was the update that came with her.

The patch notes from July 19 affected the support heroes by the following:

Ana: Added as a playable hero.

Lúcio: His Sound Barrier cost is increased by 10%.

Mercy: The Damage Boost is no longer stacked when applied by another Mercy. Her “resurrect” cost was increased by 30%, and mobility  is now possible upon activation.

Zenyatta: 50+ HP shields (total health of 200HP), Primary fire damage decreased to 40, Secondary Fire damage increased to 40, near-instant Orb placement. The Transcendence speed was doubled and his healing was increased from 200 HP per second to 300 HP.

The tournaments completed on the week of July 22nd did not use the changes reported in the patch notes and Mercy still reigned as the queen of the meta, but the next week is when everything changed.

MVP’s: Mercy + Lúcio

 

All Hail the Kings

The following week a small patch was released in which Ana’s clip size was increased from 8 rounds to 10, as well as her fire rate being increased.  

This week changed everything and has shaped the meta ever since. Teams responded very negatively to Mercy being nerfed, with many teams feeling that Zenyatta is more valuable due to his huge damage capabilities. Both Lúcio and Zenyatta were, and are, paired up as the main components of any team, Lúcio’s passive healing plus the debuff provided by Zenyatta’s Discord Orb allow many teams to maintain their full HP and get some kills. This pairing ruled many tournaments and massively increased the average damage output of most teams.

MVP’s: Zenyatta + Lúcio

Season 2 Changes

(Image Source: Blizzard) 

The meta stabilised for a few weeks, teams such as Rogue, REUNITED, Cloud9 and EnVyUs using this support composition for the ESL Atlantic Showdown. Season 2 soon started to approach and with it came some nerfs to the support heroes. Lúcio’s Amp It Up speed increase was decreased by 30% while Zenyatta’s Discord Orb now only amplifies the damage by 30%. To compensate Zenyatta’s base attack damage increased to 46 HP per shot. Mercy received some love and her healing speed was increased by 20%. Zenyatta and Lucio, meanwhile, still ruled most compositions but they were not always placed together. We would sometimes see them paired with either a Mercy or an Ana. Running 3 supports has also become more popular, but still uncommon, with Ana’s ultimate used as a huge game changing event.

MVP’s: Zenyatta + Lúcio

 

What’s next?

(Image Source: Blizzard) 

Sombra, maybe. We are waiting for the next game-changer; be that a nerf or a buff that causes the meta to change. Healers are, and will always be, a vital part of any team. Without them, it is impossible to achieve that perfect push or to make a huge comeback and fend off the opponents so maybe what is needed is another new support hero. 
 

Shoutout to SeleBraid for the amazing title. 

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JRY
Graphic Designer / / Contributor
JRY's real name is still unknown, but that does not stop him to continue writing and finding his place on the world. When he is not busy with real life, he likes to spend his time writing, playing games & reading.