Overwatch 2 players slam “pay to win” Mauga and demand nerfs

Carver Fisher
Mauga ultimate lets him fly and kill entire teams

High level and casual Overwatch 2 players alike seem to agree that Mauga is incredibly overtuned, to the point where you’re at an active disadvantage if you don’t have him on your team.

Overwatch 2‘s tank meta has always been a bit turbulent. The transition from two tanks on a team down to one has certainly had some side effects, and it’s made the choice of which tank to go with that much more essential.

For instance, Zarya is a fairly binary counter to D.Va. Stack that with other counters to her like Mei in the DPS role or Brigitte in support, and you’re pretty much forced to swap. Even if you wanted to use her Defense Matrix to counter, say, a Bastion. It was a bit easier to justify keeping someone like D.Va as an off-tank when she didn’t have the sole responsibility of being the team’s only frontliner.

The problem players have with Mauga is that, rather than being able to pick a counter to shut him down, the entire game seems to revolve around him. It’s at the point where people are leaving matches to buy Mauga, and no consistent counter has been found despite him being in Comp for almost two weeks now.

Mauga takes over Season 8 Overwatch 2 meta

When Mauga got an initial set of buffs before being officially released in Competitive, players were a bit skeptical. That skepticism would prove to be warranted as he went on to be a “must-pick” hero.

And, while he looked incredibly strong to the point of being “pay to win” as a hero, there was a chance that no one had figured out how to counter him yet. Although the fact that a player dropped out of their lobby to purchase the character and came back to win with him wasn’t exactly an encouraging sign.

However, even as players have had time to get a feel for what can counter this hero, it seems that nothing has stuck. It seems to be Mauga or bust in most cases, with the tank continuing to be a must-pick hero.

It’s at the point where his presence has soured many’s opinion on Season 8 as a whole, both in terms of top-level play and average matches. Seasoned Overwatch 2 streamer and player Jay3 went as far as calling Blizzard’s decision to buff him and release him into Comp their “worst mistake ever.”

And, while Jay’s optimistic for Season 9’s Comp and ranking system overhaul, Season 8 isn’t exactly in the good graces of players.

Veteran tank main Flats has released a few videos with titles like, “Mauga is WAYYY Too BROKEN in Overwatch 2,” and “This is Overwatch 2’s First Pay To Win Hero,” in the weeks following his release, and the comments reveal that players agree with him for the most part as many called him “unbearable”.

“I thought Comp couldn’t get any more demoralizing and depressing, but Mauga in comp makes it unbearable.” said a Flats commenter.

Meanwhile, another commenter on one of Flats’ YouTube videos claimed the hero makes “everything awful”: “Mauga is the raid boss all tank players thought they wanted but none of the other tanks are in a comparable state to compete with him and it just makes everything awful.”

Mauga may be a symptom of Overwatch 2’s problems

So, what’s the issue with Mauga? Why does he feel so hard to counter, to the point where even the greatest players in Overwatch can’t solve the puzzle of how to consistently counter him?

Simply put, Mauga sort of does everything. His dash immunes all hard CC other than if he gets anti-healed, he can heal himself with his chainguns, he does a ton of damage, he’s got range, and there’s no big drawback like Orisa’s gun overheating due to how quickly he reloads. Mauga really has it all.

And, while he can be countered by Ana or Junker Queen who can stop his healing in certain situations, a quick Suzu from Kiriko negates that entirely. As a result, the meta gets built around Mauga as well as Ana and Kiriko due to this interaction. You either play these heroes or get rolled by them in many cases.

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For example, Flats got Nano’ed by Ana and ran through the entire team. He easily outtraded Sojourn despite her being in ult and Nano’ed herself, tanked through a Junker Queen ult despite not getting hit by Suzu until the end of its duration, and he essentially ran through the entire team by tanking and dealing pretty much all the damage.

It was at the point where, earlier in the match, someone on the enemy team flamed Flats for playing a “braindead” hero and told him to “go back to Rein.” Clearly the enemy team wasn’t happy with having to face Mauga.

However, even with Flats agreeing that Mauga is way too strong, he doesn’t feel as if all the onus is on him and his kit design for the problems he’s brought to the game. Rather, he’s a very hard-to-ignore symptom of the problem that there’s too much healing and damage in Overwatch 2.

A take from Overwatch Grandma that Flats agrees with is that there are bigger issues below the surface of the game that are very apparent when it comes to heroes like Mauga who are all about healing and dealing damage.

So, making Mauga balanced may take a large-scale overhaul of Overwatch 2’s mechanics that’d take a lot of time and effort from the devs. As a result, players are just hoping for some big nerfs so they can justify playing other tanks in the short term.

About The Author

Carver is an editor for Dexerto based in Chicago. He finished his screenwriting degree in 2021 and has since dedicated his time to covering League of Legends esports and all other things gaming. He leads League esports coverage for Dexerto, but has a passion for the FGC and other esports. Contact Carver at carver.fisher@dexerto.com