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An Overwatch Seagull video details a number of complaints the former pro player has with the game. Among the issues he highlights is the current state of counter-play, the high amount of crowd control, and a lack of information for players within the game. Seagull is a popular Overwatch streamer and a former professional player for the Dallas Fuel, one of the 12 original Overwatch League teams. He’s been involved in the game ever since its beta heyday. He certainly has the breadth of experience and depth of knowledge to be able to effectively criticize the game. After listening to his video, I’m hard-pressed to disagree.
One of the first points highlighted in the Overwatch Seagull video is the sheer amount of hard counters in the game. Counter-picking heroes—that is, picking a character who is strong against someone on the enemy team—is an essential part of play in a game like this. However, Seagull feels that there are too many “hard counters” where it’s nigh-impossible for the “weaker” character to come out on top of a tough fight.
A particular example he highlighted was Pharah. Pharah is countered by a number of heroes. Soldier: 76, McCree, Widowmaker, and the latest addition Ashe can all give Pharah a fair share of trouble. Even so, clever positioning and strategy can help her win the fight.
A battle between a Tracer and a Brigitte is another matter. The Overwatch Seagull video points out that a good Tracer could indeed move carefully enough to avoid Brig’s stun and prevent being locked into a lethal combo. Even if you manage to kite her, the addition of her armor and her high-healing rate gives her several natural advantages against Tracer. This, in Seagull’s estimation, is overall worse as compared to having a fighting chance.
These problems are further complicated by the lack of information you have on yourself and your teammates. You might have made the right pick, but it’s not always easy to tell that you’re turning the tide of the battle. (At least not by the numbers.)
The Overwatch Seagull video also brings up the issue of Crowd Control, or CC. Simply put, CC abilities are powers that negatively affect the way an enemy player can move and act. Seagull reminds us that pretty much every hero released since launch has had some form of CC as part of their kit. This skewing towards CC (and an increase in hard counters) means that you’re going to have to rely a lot more on your teammates to save you from a sticky situation.
“Overwatch, when it’s good. is amazing, and when it’s bad, it’s really bad,” Seagull said in his video. “We need to bring up the bad parts of the games.”
The prevalence of CC and hard-countering makes for a precarious situation where players will get more and more frustrated at their inability to win a fight on their own. The Overwatch Seagull video ends on a bit more of an optimistic note, with the former pro player firmly believes that these problems are fixable. It’s just up to Blizzard to get it done.