The top 15 most played Overwatch heroes in this meta - May, Season 16. Find out the most popular support, tank, and DPS heroes at each skill tier.
Blizzard has not released an Overwatch API to access the data of all players in the game, so this article displays no official info. There are several websites that gather data from their users, and I decided to utilize the statistics provided by Overbuff as it is the most popular one.
Jeff Kaplan shared the official data on season 9, and the figures were mostly similar to the ones available on Overbuff. We can trust the data even it is isn’t completely accurate.
I have published updated data (based only on PC players) during each season. All the previous meta reports are listed below:
Past Meta Reports:
Most popular heroes by rank
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|10||Reaper||Zarya||Orisa||D.Va||Widowmaker||Wrecking Ball||Wrecking Ball|
The most played tanks at GrandMaster are Orisa (horse) and Roadhog (pig), so I thought to define this composition as the “Zoo” meta. Hammond (hamster) is also quite popular.
We don’t know yet if pros playing at Contenders and OWL will utilize this strategy in the future, or if the players at high ranks are just tired by GOATS and want to try something different.
Keep in mind that even if a hero or team composition is powerful in ranked play, the results might be completely different in a competitive environment.
For example, skilled Doomfist players literally wrecked our games in the past, but the hero never became meta in the Overwatch League because you could easily stop him with a proper team coordination and communication.
The rise of Orisa
Orisa always got a solid win rate, but she was mostly a niche pick utilized situationally in some maps and compositions.
Now, she is the most popular and successful tank at GrandMaster with a 7.6% pick rate and a 57.1% win rate. She is still not very used at lower ranks, but the trend may change as soon as more players learn about her strength.
Starting from patch 184.108.40.206A, Orisa received several buffs that turned her into an outstanding mechanical and skill-based hero. This is a quick summary:
Projectile speed increased by 20%.
Maximum spread reduced by 20%.
Movement speed penalty while firing reduced from 50% to 30%.
Ultimate cost reduced by 15%.
Barrier size increase by 20%.
Barrier shape has been changed to allow for more coverage from enemies that are below the barrier.
Related: All hero balance changes
High and consistent damage. The buffs to Fusion Driver (her automatic cannon) turned Orisa into a real threat. As a DPS, you must learn how to aim and the targets to prioritize.
One of the best ultimates in the game. Supercharger is very underrated: it can change the fate of a battle if used at the right time, and by boosting the damage of your teammates you are also helping to charge their own ultimates. Be sure to place the device behind a cover as the opponents can destroy it quickly (preferably behind an element of the map; your shield isn’t the safest option).
Survivability. The latest buff (which reduced the movement speed penalty while firing) may look negligible, but it really improved her quality of life and the ability to disengage fights.
The highest shield uptime for a tank. Protective Barrier offers a better cover than in the past, and the teams at most ranks lack the necessary coordination to focus down the shield, so she can just replace it constantly as the cooldown is quite low.
Immunity from Crowd Control. Fortify is the only ability in the game that can nullify any kind of disable and CC effect. Considering the current top picks, it is great against Roadhog’s Chain Hook, Wrecking Ball’s abilities, and Lucio’s Soundwave.
Combo with Roadhog
I do not remember the last time we saw Roadhog at the top of the charts; most probably he was so popular only during the one-shot hook combo period (fun times :P).
In my opinion, the popularity of Roadhog is strictly connected with Orisa as they work well together - similarly to Reinhardt and Zarya in GOATS.
Orisa’s Halt! has an insane killing potential because it can pull and kill enemies into pits (Ilios Well), move them to unsafe positions, disorient their movements, and combo with several ultimates, abilities, and attacks.
Roadhog is certainly one of the best combo partners thanks to Chain Hook.
As usual, communication is the key. In most pub games, Orisa and Roadhog are not able to pull out this basic combo because they don’t talk to each other.
As Orisa, simply ask Roadhog if his hook is out of cooldown, and then let him know the hero or the location where you are going to use Halt!.
Scoring a kill with this tactic is rather easy because the enemy will be completely disoriented due to the double pull, and the combined DPS of Orisa and Roadhog can finish them quickly.
Picking off a significant target (such as a support) helps to delay the opponents’ plans until the hero respawns, and also charges your ultimates.
Reinhard and Zarya are declining
The pick rate of both Reinhardt and Zarya decreased during the past months. I believe this is correlated to the nerfs that affected Zarya in patch 220.127.116.11.
Beam-type damage is now reduced by 20% when hitting armor.
Alternative Fire’s explosion radius changed to 2 meters, regardless of energy level.
Zarya’s primary fire inflicts less damage when facing armored targets, and her alternative fire has less radius than in the past. Before, it increased up to 3 meters depending on your energy level, but honestly keeping it maxed out was rather easy.
GOATS is also disappearing, so there are less team compositions that just group up and move together, which means she will end dealing less splash damage.
Reducing her damage also increases the average time necessary to charge Graviton Surge.
The following graph shows data on the top 8 most picked DPS heroes at GrandMaster.
Symmetra is still included among the supports because of the statistical tool used. Removing her would have caused problems with the data.
Double Sniper meta
Widowmaker and Hanzo are the most picked DPS heroes at GrandMaster.
No GOATS means fewer tanks and more low-HP targets, so the snipers can take them down easily with their burst damage.
In particular, Widowmaker is great when paired with Orisa because she can just snipe the opponents from a distance while staying safe behind the barrier.
She pressures and forces them to play more safely because her one-shot capabilities limit their movements. This also forces mirror compositions as a shield is the best way to deal with snipers and hitscan heroes.
Hanzo and Torbjorn are preventing the Dive meta
In the past, Dive was the answer to Double Sniper, but now Hanzo and Torbjorn are countering it.
Hanzo is able to inflict a massive burst damage with Storm Arrows, which annihilates any Dive hero who attempts to engage.
After the rework and the recent buffs, Torbjorn finally became a viable hero, and now he is the fifth most picked DPS at GrandMaster while maintaining an amazing 56.6% win rate.
Thanks to the turret, Torbjorn provides crossfire and constant damage at all times.
His own Rivet Gun is better than in the past, and Overload contributes with extra burst damage thanks to the rate of fire bonus.
Torbjorn lost Armor Pack, but he is still quite tanky as Overload gives 100 extra armor when activated, and patch 18.104.22.168 boosted his survivability: base health increased by 50 armor (250 maximum health).
Torbjorn benefits a lot from Orisa’s Protective Barrier as it gives his turret a safe placement on any point, and he hard counters both Dive and Hammond-based compositions via Molten Core (damage increased from 130 to 160 in patch 22.214.171.124).
The only “problem” with a meta with Orisa and Torbjorn is the potential rise of Bunker compositions (Bastion as well), which are extremely hard to deal with at low ranks. Many players won’t be happy :P.
Torbjorn might not be the most popular hero in the game, but finally he gained a spot in the higher tiers. If you would like to maximize his potential (or to counter him), I wrote 12 map guides on the best turret placements.
Mercy is back
Mercy rose in April, and now she is among the top played heroes in the game at GrandMaster.
This situation is strictly correlated with the decline of GOATS: Lucio’s pick rate decreased because you don’t need Speed Boost in a composition where the main tank is a not-mobile hero such as Orisa, so the teams started including Mercy inside their lineups.