Sigma and Orisa have dominated Overwatch for the last couple of months, but the top tank player has shown that you don’t need to be a meta slave to climb high on the ranked ladder.
Since Sigma’s release and the introduction of role lock, two tanks have dominated the Overwatch meta — him and Orisa. The double shield strategy, while still being mobile and packed with tons of utility, has made the lives of players hell.
However, one player has shown you don’t need to be a slave to the meta to climb high on the ranked ladder. In fact, the top tank player in Season 18 didn’t even have Sigma or Orisa in his top two most played heroes, showing that in ranked, anything flies as long as you are good.
Semi-pro player Anthony ‘harbleu’ Ballo took home the honors of being the best tank player in ranked Season 18, beating out the likes of Overwatch League star Indy ‘Space’ Halpern and other various players from both OWL and Contenders.
In his 207 Season 18 games, Sigma didn't feature in his top two, and Orisa wasn't even in his top three. Harbleu played 18 hours of Wrecking Ball as his most played, with Zarya as his second most played at 9 hours. He ended up finishing on 4673 SR, 4 SR higher than Space.
Everyone else in the top five had Sigma and Orisa as their two most played heroes across the season, showing just how dominant they’ve been in the meta.
Nevertheless, that didn’t mean he couldn’t dig his heels in and go against the grain to show that there’s more to Overwatch than goats and scientists.
Although he was playing Hammond and Zarya throughout the season, Harbleu is known for his Roadhog. He didn’t get much of a chance to pull it out against all of the shielding he was up against, only managing 8 hours on the hero, but he’s proven to be one of the scariest off-tanks in the world when Hog is meta.
Ended season 18 rank #1 for tank... kinda anticlimactic with no decay but whatever, hopefully they add it back for s19. pic.twitter.com/NtzXprU4WC
— Anthony Ballo (@harbleuOW) November 7, 2019
Harbleu’s tanks aren’t the only unconventional picks making it to the top of the ranked ladder. Brigitte master ‘Violet’ held the top four support ladder slots in Season 18, sticking to the out-of-favor redhead after GOATS was killed off in the role lock update.
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The DPS ladder is also full of unique picks. Doomfist, Hanzo, Reaper, Widowmaker, Bastion, Genji and more feature for the top five players. While Doomfist and Reaper featured at the World Cup, picks like Widowmaker and Hanzo still do well in ranked because of their carry potential.
Heading into Season 19 with a bunch of balance and map pool changes, the competitive meta might be shifting up a little. Harbleu himself has made a statement to possibly get a trial — or even a spot — for Overwatch League 2020 by demonstrating how deep his hero pool really is.
However, don’t feel like you have to be forcing what’s OP in the pro tournaments — if you play what you are good at, you are likely to climb regardless.