Overwatch 2 Hero Pick Rates Show Most Players Don’t Care About The Meta
Hero shooters like Overwatch 2 are always in flux when it comes to character pick rates. Balance changes, reworks, and new additions throw a wrench into the machine, so a period of high usage for a character can mean a lot of things. But while Overwatch 2 only launched four months ago, we can still learn a bit from the heroes currently living their best lives as the top picks.
In a post on the official Overwatch website, game director Aaron Keller broke down some stats around character pick rates in Overwatch 2’s third season. While the season is ongoing, the team is apparently pretty satisfied with the state of the game’s balance, as it won’t be making any big changes between now and the midseason patch. So it stands to reason the following pick rate stats are going to be pretty much the same until then.
One of the bigger takeaways I have looking at the stats is that the Overwatch meta doesn’t always determine what characters are well liked.
Case in point, Keller first lays out the support picks, which he says feel well-balanced across different skill tiers, with “most” characters being viable regardless of what level you’re playing at. Brigitte is my secondary support character behind Baptiste, so it does my heart good to see she apparently has the highest win rate across most skill tiers, with Zenyatta coming in the lead among the top 500 players. Both enjoy a nearly 55 percent win rate. That pair is followed by Kiriko and Moira, whose win rate hovers around 45 percent. Despite all this, Keller says Ana, Kiriko, and Mercy are actually the most used support heroes right now.
As for tanks, Reinhardt is king with a 58 percent win rate in Bronze through Platinum ranks, with Sigma winning out with a 55 percent win rate in Masters and up. Keller points to Roadhog as a particular pain point for tank players, and recent reworks have made him more situational. It sounds like Wrecking Ball, who received a notable buff with the addition of a regenerating shield, is a bit of a wild card. His win rate apparently bounces between 51 to 55 percent, with a low pick rate in lower ranks, but he is apparently the most-picked tank among the top 500. Wrecking Ball has always been a weird outlier for the tank role, and the numbers really make it clear just how unpredictable he can be.
Last up is damage characters, and after Sojourn got a few numbers moved around, more characters are entering the spotlight again. According to Keller’s analysis, Cassidy has ascended to the top of most-picked damage characters for all ranks except top 500, where he’s neck-and-neck with poster girl Tracer. At lower ranks, Symettra and Torbjörn have the highest win rates, with Symettra having the highest win rate in the game for all ranks lower than Masters.
It’s interesting looking at win rates and pick rates juxtaposed against one another, because while the sickest of competitive sickos have their opinions on the meta and that’s its own conversation, for a lot of players, they just pick who they like.
Win rate not always equating to higher pick rates is a common thread among all three roles. Cassidy is edging out the other damage players in terms of pick rate, but in most ranks, the raw numbers say Symmetra and Torb are arguably the top of the role in terms of winning matches. Kiriko is one of the most picked supports, but in most ranks support characters like Brig and Zenyatta ostensibly have higher success rates.
These stats are cool to see, but most of us are just picking the characters we vibe with regardless of where they sit in the meta. Soldier: 76, Orisa, and Baptiste aren’t showing up anywhere in this blog post, but they’re still my favorites and I’ll stick with them to the bitter end.
Unless they make Cassidy’s homing grenade find Mei anywhere on the map. Then we’ll reassess.
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