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Lessons Learned from Week 1 of Overwatch League

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The second week of Overwatch League begins tomorrow, but it's important to analyse last week's winning strategies and the strength of various compositions. We've done exactly that with a list of facts and composition points from Overwatch League Week 1.

Only 5 Heroes Surpassed 10 Hours of Playtime in the Week 1 Matches

Of the 26 heroes available to play in Overwatch, more than 80% saw less than 6 hours of league match time. In fact, the five most used heroes in Overwatch League’s first week accounted for 80 hours of in-game use, while the 21 other heroes combined accounted for under 40 hours of match time use. This means 5 specific heroes were played more than two times the total amount of the 21other characters in Overwatch League’s inaugural week. The top 5 are as follows:

  1. Mercy - 18h 50m

  2. D.Va - 17h 33m

  3. Winston - 15h 24m

  4. Zenyatta - 14h 55m

  5. Tracer - 12h 58m

After Tracer, a major drop off of in character usage is seen. Tracer has double the match time of that of the sixth most utilized hero, Genji, who came in at 5h 37m.

This tells us a couple of things. First, it tells us that Mercy is clearly the top priority pick, and is a non-negotiable standard for almost all compositions. Her ability to resurrect teammates mixed with her survivability cannot be passed up in professional play.

Second, it tells us there is a strong meta composition in the pro scene. D.Va follows closely behind Mercy, with only an hour and 20 minutes short of Mercy’s usage. We then have Winston, Zenyatta, and Tracer coming after that. Most of these heroes point to one major composition, dive comp, and that is a lot of what we saw last week. However, one hero sticks out like a sore thumb, and that’s Zenyatta. This leads us to our second lesson.

Zenyatta Is the Focal Point of Successful Overwatch League Play

Zenyatta’s placement as the fourth most used hero in Overwatch League play may come as a surprise for many players. However, the data shows that he was utilized much more than other supports (who are not Mercy). In fact, Zenyatta was used five times more than the next most used support, Lucio, who saw 2h 52m of gameplay.

So why Zenyatta? He can’t escape dive compositions, he can’t run from flankers, and his healing output is weaker than other support heroes. However, data reveals that while Zenyatta had a negative win rate over the course of the whole week, he had the best win rate of all supports, 1.7% higher than the next support, Mercy. Data also shows that when Zenyatta was on one team, and the other team was not running a Zenyatta, his win rate increased to 53%, 9% higher than the next hero under similar “one team use” circumstances.

How can this be considered a dive composition when Zenyatta is utilized so heavily? I would argue that while the primary composition is “dive-esque,” the necessity of Zenyatta changes that composition. Lucio would be the pick of choice in a “pure” dive comp, but Zenyatta is chosen instead. So what would I call this composition?

Synergy Comp

Why? Because each of these heroes is heavily dependant on the others to get things done. None of these heroes really makes a huge impact on their own (aside from Mercy.) However, when team members synergize, focus on single targets, and work as a unit, the composition is unstoppable. Zenyatta’s orbs prove that “Syn Comp” is here to stay unless patches change the composition dynamics mid-season. Zen’s discord orb is the one ability that makes him stand above the rest of the supports (barring Mercy,) and is key to Syn comp’s viability. Focusing targets while utilizing discord orbs is what often makes Zen the shot caller of the team. In many ways, teams who protect and function off of their Zen are the team’s who will come out with the win.

In fact, almost every Overwatch League team composition that had more than 10 fights, and had a team fight win rate of over 50%, utilized Zenyatta in some way. This proves that a composition that utilizes Zenyatta will have the best odds of winning.

The only outlier to this statistic is a composition of Hanzo, Widow, Roadhog, Bastion, Orisa, and Mercy, which had 20 minutes of use on the first point of Junkertown, with a 75% team fight win rate. Dallas Fuel, New York Excelsior, and Los Angeles Valiant used this composition. This composition happened to have the highest win rate of all team comps that were used for over 10 fights. Which leads us to the last point.

Maps and Specific Checkpoints Will Determine Team Comps

As mentioned above, a double sniper, Roadhog offtank, Orisa maintank, Bastion, and Mercy composition had the most successful team fight win rate of the week at 75% (of all compositions that fought more than 10 fights.) I believe that this composition was used on only the first point of Junkertown. With only one member of the composition (Mercy) coming from the top 5 most used characters of the hero pool, this group of heroes proves that thinking outside of the box and playing the map can have huge payoffs. Of the 24 team fights that this composition faced, it won 18 of them. This data shows that team compositions can be heavily dependent on map layouts and perform extremely well. I am excited to see what non-meta Overwatch League team compositions will be used to throw enemies off-guard and utilize the surroundings of the current objective. Adaptability is a core of Overwatch gameplay and will be the difference between champions and losers.

Which of these statistics shocked you the most? What non-meta compositions do you think we will see in this week of Overwatch League? Respond with your thoughts below!

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16 minutes ago, MarkTheShark said:

Great analysis & insights. May I ask the source of the data presented? Did you compile this data or is there a public source that published it?

Thanks for your feedback, always appreciated. Its a both/and situation for the data. 

I utilized

https://www.winstonslab.com 

Where i gathered the data and looked into the trends. You have to pull the data using specific queries, which is why I say both/and. 

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