Overwatch’s Changing Meta

Whilst Overwatch has found huge success in the east, viewership and interest numbers in the west have been much lower since the inception of the game and the launch of the OWL a few years ago – there have been a number of suggestions as to why, the first just being that the pace of the game compared to other popular titles such as CS:GO didn’t lend for an exciting viewer experience as it typically turned into each team waiting for the ultimate’s to build before throwing all six players into a meat grinder to find out who came out on top – another reason, and perhaps the biggest, had been the rather stale meta game that had been developing. 

The first that led a lot of players, both casual and professional, to offer criticism had been the widespread use of the GOATS comp – popularised by the North American team in the second season of the Overwatch, the team would go on a 10-0 run and winning the BEAT invitational with a team comp that consisted of a strong frontline and mobility –  the team they build consisted of D.Va, Reinhardt, Zarya, Brigitte, Zenyatta, and Lucio. The goal had been to just walk forward at other teams like an immovable object and walk them down, and it was hugely successful – but the problem was that it was incredibly boring both for viewers and players. Former professional North American player and streaming personality, Seagull, had been one of the many that suggested it was a huge part for the struggling numbers that Overwatch was experienced – in both pro play and the higher competitive scene where many players were streaming the games would all blend into one as it had often been a mirror match of the GOATS comp walking into each other. 

The GOATS comp eventually faded out however for some other team comps that have been considered to be just as boring in many ways, but Seagull has recently stated that he feels the game may be in its best meta state for a long time for the casual player and may in fact help the audience grow – a large number of balance changes that include nerfs to healing heroes and nerfs to certain damage heroes have meant the possible pool for players to choose from is growing, and whilst high tier competitive and professional play hasn’t really changed, the wider audience get to see a different version of Overwatch in many regards – with the suggestion that this could be the most diverse meta seen.

With Overwatch 2 set to be a huge feature in the upcoming online-only Blizzcon, it will be interesting to see what changes are announced – if you’re a Overwatch punter too this changing meta could lead to some excitement in future games as it changes what to look for when placing any wager down, it may lead to a big mix-up in team positioning and show the more flexible rosters as different heroes become viable at the highest level.

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