Just a few short months ago, it looked like the popular three-tank, three-healer composition known as “GOATS” would dominate the metagame forever. Blizzard finally nixed this by enforcing two-tank, two-healer, and two-damage hero team comps. Shortly after, they released hero number 31, Sigma, into the game.
Sigma’s introduction to the game made an immediate impact. His relocatable shield, high damage, and crowd control made him a must-have in the competitive meta. He ushered in a new era of Overwatch, known as the double-shield meta. The idea behind it is to pair Orisa with Sigma, creating an unbreakable wall of shields. Players can use both shields for safety against popular heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo. As such, other roles are making changes to adapt.
Popular damage heroes and supports have seen a dramatic shift since Sigma’s release. Damage heroes that quickly break down shields, or flat out bypass them are very popular as a result of the double-shield meta. Doomfist, Reaper, Bastion, Pharah, Mei and even Symmetra are all popular damage picks in the Overwatch League at the moment. These heroes all possess different ways of dealing with shields that other heroes can’t quite keep up with.
Supporting heroes have shifted to increase survivability with the new meta. Prior to the release of Sigma, Ana was the most popular main healer while Zenyatta and Lucio were favored as off-healers, except in bunker comps where Mercy and Baptiste were used for their ability to protect Bastion. Now Moira and Lucio are the most popular picks. Moira’s ability to heal and deal damage through barriers makes her extremely valuable to the new meta. Zenyatta has been hit the hardest by the new meta. His discord orb can’t be thrown through shields and he is an easy target for heroes like Doomfist and Reaper.
There are a few popular compositions in the double-shield meta. Earlier this week the New York Excelsior had a match against the San Francisco Shock showcasing some of these compositions. Orisa, Sigma, Reaper, Doomfist, Moira and Lucio is currently the most popular comp. Another widely seen composition is a variant of the bunker comp including Orisa, Sigma, Bastion, Mei (or Reaper, Doomfist or Pharah), Mercy and Baptiste. These compositions are rampant throughout Overwatch playoffs and will likely appear again in the Grand Finals on September 29th.
Tweet by OWL Analyst (MonteCristo) reacting to Sigma’s release.
Sigma is getting hit with the nerf-hammer now in the recent patch 1.40 but will continue to be a top pick at all levels of competitive Overwatch. It wouldn’t be overly surprising to continue seeing double-shield compositions even after this Sigma nerf. After the Grand Finals, however, there is no top-level Overwatch play until the World Finals begin on November 1. It will be interesting to see how the meta changes.
Written by Nathaniel Searl