Roadhog has been a constant force in Overwatch almost since the game’s inception. Blizzard made several changes to the hero over the past year, but none of them had really had a huge effect on how often he was chosen. That all changed when a Roadhog nerf dropped on June 20, which many Overwatch players are calling “The Day Roadhog Died.”
With the hashtag #RIPRoadhog becoming more and more popular, we now have numbers to back up that sentiment, thanks to Overbuff.com, a website that compiles Overwatch stats for both players and heroes. In Competitive Play, since the patch on June 20, Roadhog’s Pick Rate has dropped from 6.87 percent to 2.76 percent, putting him near the bottom of Overwatch‘s roster (right down there with heroes such as Hanzo, Symmetra and Junkrat).
Similarly Roadhog’s win rate has declined from 48.92 percent on June 20 to a dismal 43.02 percent today. That may not seem like a huge drop, and it may not look like it on the graphs, but, if that win rate holds steady, it would make Roadhog the second-worst hero in terms of win rate in competitive play, ahead of only Sombra (at 42.55 percent). You can see both these figures represented in the graphs below, courtesy of Overbuff (make sure to select “competitive” if you follow the link):
In case you aren’t aware, Blizzard dropped a Roadhog nerf that reduced his damage by a whopping 33 percent. They seemingly tried to balance out this change by increasing his magazine size from 4 to 5 and increase his rate of fire by 30 percent. But, the damage nerf was enough to render his one gimmick (the ability to one-shot lower-health characters after hooking them) completely useless. As many players have found out, Roadhog can almost never one-shot 200 health heroes and even has trouble one-shotting Tracer, the lowest-health character in the game with only 150 health, often requiring Roadhog to hook, shoot and follow up with a melee attack to secure the kill.
Like D.Va, who was nerfed last year to prevent her from being able to dive in 1v6 kill a hero and escape nearly unscathed, Roadhog will need to be played much differently if that pick rate and win rate is going to improve. Many people have suggested a shoot-hook-shoot-melee strategy to secure more consistent kills, but that’s much harder to pull off. Enemy heroes normally only pop out from behind cover or a barrier for a second or two at a time.
That was what made Roadhog such a force to be reckoned with: if someone popped out from cover for a second longer than they should, a Roadhog player with good enough aim and fast enough reflexes could pick him off with a hook-shot combo. Roadhog was also very good at punishing enemies who tried to dive in the Roadhog’s backline. Heroes such as Tracer, Genji and Winston could all be easily dealt with by a defensive Roadhog.
Now, the dive strategy has rapidly increased in popularity as one of the main counters to it has been rendered nearly useless. There is no indication that this will be reverted in any way. Blizzard tested these changes in the PTR for a lengthy period of time and decided to put them through to the live servers anyway, so they’re likely sticking to their guns here.