It’s been quite a while since the cowboy sharpshooter made an impact on the meta in Overwatch. From the lengthy period of GOATS competition to the implementation of a 2-2-2 Role Lock system, the DPS hero hasn’t been able to truly shine for a good stretch of time.
While others like Mei and Reaper took precedent throughout favorable compositions of late, the most recent patch looks set to shake things up and push the gunslinger back in the forefront of competition. Veteran players have been quick to voice their opinion and share wild highlights, indicating that McCree could be a force to be reckoned with in the coming months.
Immediately hopping into the Practice Range on PTR and experimenting with all of the latest changes, popular Overwatch content creator ‘KarQ’ showcased just how McCree’s Deadeye adjustment can impact a fight.
“Firing Deadeye no longer locks the player’s aim,” is how the new effect is worded in the January 23 patch notes. In essence, this means that McCree is no longer stuck looking in one direction upon pulling the trigger and firing off his Ultimate. Rather, the DPS character can look around and ensure that moving targets won't disappear outside your line of sight.
Showcasing just that throughout a recent demonstration, KarQ locked sights with Practice Range robots both in front and behind his character. Firing away while rapidly turning around, he was amazingly able to knock down every single robot that had been locked onto while charging up.
“Could be good if you build skull then Genji dashes behind you for example,” he added.
New MCCREE DEADEYE doesn't lock your camera anymore so you can make full 180-360 degree turns as long as you have skulls locked in.
Could be good if you build skull then Genji dashes behind you for example pic.twitter.com/YgjrDSRUrP
— KarQ (@KarQGames) January 24, 2020
Another example of the changes in effect comes from Reddit user ‘nDR_ow’ as they neared the end of Eichenwalde throughout a recent match on the PTR.
Activating their Deadeye at the start of the third checkpoint, the player was quickly booped through the air by an angry enemy Winston. Able to full aim wherever they pleased while the ability was in effect, they rotated back and forth before settling onto two exposed targets and blasting them away.
In the midst of all the chaos, they were even Nano Boosted to really amplify the effects. If only they had rotated their aim back to the raging monkey after firing the first shot, perhaps they would have locked another skull thanks to the new PTR changes.
Former Overwatch League star for the Houston Outlaws, Jake Lyon, was quick to share his enthusiasm for the latest set of balance updates, focusing especially on the changes to McCree. “Wait McCree is HUGE now,” he emphasized. “Looking forward to this one.”
“He's still a tier below snipers/Tracer/Pharah in terms of counter potential. Pharah is the one who will probably suffer most from this change,” he outlined, indicating that the McCree buffs could directly impact the amount that Pharah is seen throughout competitive play.
While Jake will be serving as on-air talent throughout the 2020 Overwatch League season, he’ll have the best seat in the house to commentate over some of the flashiest McCree plays coming from those with impeccable aim.
He's still a tier below snipers/tracer/pharah in terms of counter potential imo. Pharah is the one who will probably suffer most from this change.
— Jake Lyon (@jakeow) January 24, 2020
While there’s no set date as to when these McCree buffs will make their way to the live Overwatch servers, it appears as though Blizzard could be ready to update the hero shooter at a more frequent rate than in years prior.
Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan recently addressed the community and explained that a brand new developer update is finally on the way after a six-month gap, and that "more frequent updates" are part of their plan for 2020.