Overwatch

Will Mei, Lucio and D.Va be nerfed in an upcoming Overwatch patch?

by Michael Gwilliam
Blizzard Entertainment

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With Overwatch undergoing faster balance patches and the hero pools feature coming for competitive Season 21, a few heroes could be on the chopping block for nerfs in the near future.

The Overwatch League kicked off its third season on February 8 with all but two heroes getting any playtime: Bastion and Roadhog.

However, on the flip side, five heroes had a pick rate of over sixty percent. According to Overwatch League’s stats lab, Lucio’s usage topped the charts with a whopping 91.9%. Reinhardt was close behind at 88.7%, Mei was third with a cool 84.1%, D.Va with a nice 69.8%, and Ana at 63.2%.

NYXL star JJonak celebrates a win in front of the crowd at the New York Overwatch League homestand event
Stewart Volland For Blizzard Entertainment
NYXL's JJonak dominated as Ana during the league's opening weekend.

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From there, the numbers fell to under 50% with McCree at 43.4%, Orisa with 26.3%, and Reaper at 25.6%.

While there was a lot of variety, the fact remains that several heroes dominated in pick rate and would likely be out Overwatch League’s hero pool if the feature were to be implemented next week.

As it stands, hero pools won’t be coming to Overwatch League until March 7 with the last two weeks of data used to determine who gets removed from rotation.

Overwatch League
Overwatch League pickrates after week one.

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According to the league, one tank, one support, and two damage heroes will be randomly selected from a group of eligible heroes based on play-rate data.

If these rates continue, it’s looking like the heroes with a pick rate above 60% will be eligible for selection. However, there’s little point in banning these heroes if they just return the following week with no changes.

As Dexerto previously reported, San Francisco Shock’s Matthew ‘super’ DeLisi said the developers are speaking with pro players about game balance so it’s likely that the game will be balanced from the top down going forward.

Blizzard Entertainment
Mei could be getting a nerf very soon.

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With that in mind, combined with Blizzard’s new aggressive balancing philosophy, it’s looking like some of those top-picked heroes will be seeing some changes while those with lower pickrates could be buffed.

It’s important to note, however, that certain synergies may be responsible for one hero having such an abnormal pick rate. For instance, Lucio’s speed boost could be playing a big factor in why Reinhardt is used so much because it gets him into the fight faster, allowing tank players to be more aggressive.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the game going forward and how the developers decide to tackle issues with the game to keep the meta fresh and not stagnate.