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Sombra's Poor Win Rate Underscores Nagging Balance Issues In Overwatch

Posted on Monday, November 21 @ 10:00:00 PST by James_Kozanitis


With the release of Overwatch's much-anticipated hacker stealth/offense hero Sombra, many, myself included, were predicting her infiltrating the metagame. While that may still happen, let's just say that Sombra's true arrival on the scene is ... delayed.

According to MasterOverwatch.com, Sombra has the lowest win rate among all 23 Overwatch heroes, at 41.9 percent. This figure is almost a full 5 percentage points behind #22 on that list, which is Ana with a 46.4 percent win rate.

MasterOverwatch is a website that analyzes Overwatch and compiles data based on that analysis. While only those Overwatch players who subscribe to the website using Blizzard's API are factored into the calculation, MasterOverwatch has still analyzed tens of millions of games. Several similar websites for other games exist around the web, and, while they aren't perfect, they're the best metric we have.

Of course, it can always be the case with new heroes in competitive games that players simply haven't figured them out yet. On the other hand, I've seen plenty of examples to the opposite where they are introduced, explode and have to be nerfed rather quickly. Barring a simple adjustment period, Sombra may need more work than the testing period seemed to warrant, whether it be a damage increase or spread decrease on her weapon or increased invisibility time/decreased fade time. Only time will tell.

What this data also shows us, in the wake of Patch 1.5, is that other balance issues, beyond Sombra, have creeped up. With D.Va, in particular, a hero who received perhaps the biggest buff in the latest patch, the numbers show a power surge unlike any other.



While her already-impressive win rate of 53.3 percent didn't go up much, and she still remains fourth, behind Symmetra, Torbjorn and Lucio, it's hard to find a statistical area where she did not improve. As you can see from the image above, D.Va saw a notable increase in almost every category. The only category that went down was Mech Deaths, and that's a good thing for her.

These figures are current as of Nov. 19.

Did such a thing happen for everyone, or, at least, everyone who got a buff in 1.5? No. Notably, Soldier 76, who also got a significant buff in the last patch, saw all his numbers go down, albeit marginally.

It seems Overwatch will have a rocky adjustment period where the rich are getting richer and their premier new addition remains bottom-tier. Hopefully, we'll all settle in soon, and this shaky time will be brief.
Related Games:   Overwatch
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