New Overwatch data reveals the most-played heroes since release - Dexerto
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New Overwatch data reveals the most-played heroes since release

Published: 22/Mar/2021 1:04 Updated: 22/Mar/2021 2:05

by Brad Norton

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Which heroes have seen the most playtime since Overwatch launched in 2016? A new breakdown of Overwatch League data has revealed the most-picked characters at the highest level of competition.

If you’ve been grinding Overwatch for a number of years now, you would have experienced a few big meta changes first-hand. From the highly controversial GOATS-era to the flashy Beyblade period, and plenty more. We’ve seen tons of heroes rotated in and out of the mix depending on the patch.

But which characters have been involved the most since launch? Certain Tanks and Supports have reigned supreme regardless of meta shifts. From the pro level down to quick play, the impact of these heroes can be felt throughout the game.

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Thanks to a unique look at play-time in the Overwatch League, we now have a new understanding of just how dominant certain heroes have been over the years.

Overwatch Dva gameplay
Blizzard
D.Va stands out as the most-played hero by far.

As the first year of the league got underway, there were five heroes that shot well ahead of everyone else. D.Va, Zenyatta, Mercy, Winston, and Tracer took hold throughout 2018, according to a visualization from ‘Magnar.’

For some of these popular characters, their dominance hasn’t let up whatsoever. D.Va comes in as the most-played hero to date by a huge margin. Not only is her total playtime more than 100 hours ahead of the second-highest hero, but she’s also more than 400 hours ahead of the second Tank hero.

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With 60,752 minutes played in the Overwatch League, D.Va is the only hero with more than 1,000 hours of experience at the pro level. 

Overwatch Echo cinematic
Blizzard
Echo might be the newest Overwatch hero but her playtime is already on the rise.

Next in the race is Zenyatta who holds onto second place with 50,056 minutes (834 hours) of playtime. The Omnic leads Supports alongside Lucio who comes in with 41,554 minutes (693 hours).

Tanks and Supports make up a vast majority of the most-played heroes in Overwatch. With that in mind, Damage-based characters are a mixed bag. Tracer is the frontrunner for the category with 27,079 minutes (451 hours) of playtime. However, she’s the only DPS hero among the top 10.

Perhaps coming as no surprise, it’s the niche damage dealers that fall on the opposite end of the list. Symmetra, Bastion, and Torbjorn all combine for less playtime than Echo, a hero that was only just introduced in 2020.

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While this data is strictly for playtime at the highest level of competition, the OWL meta typically reflects that seen in ranked. It’s safe to say the same heroes have been dominant throughout online play over the years as well.

Perhaps Overwatch 2 will shake things up in a big way, but it’s clear some truly drastic changes are needed to offset these powerful characters.