OWL: Evolving Meta – Stage 4 Week 1

Heading into stage four of the Overwatch League there was a lot of uncertainty as to what fans should expect to see with the introduction of role lock. Gone are the days of Wrecking Ball/triple DPS, triple tank-triple support, and triple damage-triple support.

The switch to role lock was consulted between the league and all 20 of the Overwatch League teams. Teams were informed of the change in early June to give them time to plan accordingly. With talks of dive, double sniper, and teams favoring Mei in scrims the field was wide open. Who were the biggest gainers and losers in role lock’s first week in the Overwatch League? All stats are courtesy of Omnic Meta.


  • Orisa +40.5% pick rate
    • Orisa finished atop the pick rates at 66.5% and has become a mainstay on main tank. Interestingly enough the off-tank position has been evenly split between D.Va and Roadhog play. The halt hook combination is crucial as teams look to secure kills. Aided by Mei’s ice wall the uptime of Orisa’s protective barrier is higher than its ever been. 
  • Mei +36.6% pick rate
    • Scrim bucks have paid off as Mei finished as the most picked damage hero this week. What led to the ice queen’s spike in usage? It’s the return of sniper Mei as there’s no damage falloff with her alternate fire and the extra help maintaining Orisa’s protective barrier uptime by popping ice walls up in front of the shield.
  • Hanzo +25.8% pick rate
    • With the introduction of role lock players have reverted to comfort picks and brought the return of double sniper compositions. Halting enemies into dragonstrikes has been a potent combination and if you need any indicator of just how strong a Hanzo can be go revisit Profit’s performance against the Toronto Defiant. Hanzo also brings added shield pressure with his storm arrows.
  • Roadhog +25.7% pick rate
    • Many expected pulled pork (Orisa/Roadhog) to be the primary tank duo but Roadhog’s pick rate has mirrored D.Va’s with only a +0.2% differential in favor of Roadhog. Teams are split on prioritizing pick potential with halt/hook combinations or eating blizzard/halt attempts. 
  • Widowmaker +21.9% pick rate
    • Much like her sniper counterpart in Hanzo – Widowmaker has seen a big uptick of play due to the rise of double sniper compositions. Hitscan players have returned to their comfort pick in Widowmaker bringing high pick potential. 


  • Brigitte -49.9% pick rate
    • Without any balance changes implemented in stage four Brigitte is dead in the water in 2-2-2. Brigitte only saw play  when teams looked to counter dive compositions but the lack of sustainable healing puts her dead last in support hero usage.
  • Zarya -34.4% pick rate
    • Zarya was a must pick in the triple tank-triple support meta but her viability has taken a dive with the arrival of role lock. Her tank partner Reinhardt also took a heavy hit. 
  • Lucio -33.7% pick rate
    • Lucio’s pick rate sits at 31.7% in stage four week one. While not a mainstay on main support Lucio remains a vital component on select maps to maximize boop potential and get early positional advantage on control maps. 
  • Reinhardt -29.2% pick rate
    • Reinhardt saw a measly 0.9% pick rate in stage four week one with Orisa leaving Rein in the dust. Lijiang Tower – Control Center is one of the rare opportunities to run Rein in the evolving meta. 
  • Pharah -28.7% pick rate
    • Pharah’s pick rate soared in triple damage compositions as teams were able to utilize crossfire with their Widowmaker as Wrecking Ball/Sombra/Doomfists caused havoc on the backline. Without the added pressure Pharah’s viability has seen a drastic shift.


  • Reaper +12.5% pick rate
    • Reaper/Mei damage duos were in a favorable position leading to many situations where enemies were trapped in close range against Reaper’s hellfire shotguns. The burst potential against Hammond, Doomfist, Orisa, and Roadhog. Reaper’s viability against Sombra aided in his pick rate too as he isn’t effected as much by EMP.
  • Genji +9.2% pick rate
    •  While dive compositions aren’t back in the forefront it was Haksal (Vancouver Titans) who made HUGE impressions with his Genji play ending the match against the Florida Mayhem with the second highest dragonblade kills ever (27) and averaging 10.9 dragonblade kills/10 mins.

We’ll be keeping an eye on things as the meta continues to develop throughout stage four. With several matches having play-in and playoff implications teams don’t have much time to adapt.

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