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Is Overwatch League Stage 2 Ready for Mercy Changes?

In an article I wrote just a few weeks ago, I broke down what we could learn from the first seven days of Overwatch League. One of the first things I mentioned was the fact that Mercy had, by far, the largest play time of all heroes. As we head into week 4, Mercy’s reign as “Queen of the League” has not ended. In fact, her use has increased, with her pick rate extending into 95% of matches, a whopping 8.75% more than the next most-picked hero (D.Va 86%.)  However, today marks the end of the Queen’s reign in competitive play due to her changes in the most recent patch, and questions remain as to how she will affect the league in the future. Here are some of my speculations.

1.       The Mercy changes won’t affect the league until the end of February

No one is sure how patch changes will affect the Overwatch League, but the main talk of the town is that patch changes will cross over between Overwatch League stages. As the league is currently in stage 1 week 4, we will probably see the Mercy/Junkrat patch hitting the league at stage 2 week 1. Stage 2 week 1 will start February 21, so I don’t expect to see the patch hit the league until then.

2.       Zenyatta will become king of Overwatch League supports.

Also something I talked about in my article from week 1, Zenyatta sees a high amount of Overwatch League playing time. In fact, Zenyatta is present in 78% of all Overwatch League play. This percentage currently places Zenyatta as the third-most played hero in the league. Once Mercy has her wings clipped, it is likely that Zen’s play time will only increase, making him the number one picked support in Overwatch League. In my opinion, this change may even push Zenyatta to take the number one spot as the most played hero in Overwatch League compositions. Let’s see if Zen can transcend his way to the top!

3.       Other supports will see a dramatic increase in play time (except Symmetra)

With Mercy falling back down to earth, the void she leaves needs to be filled by other characters. Part of Mercy’s dominance as a support was because other heroes could not match her kit. The other support heroes weren’t broken, Mercy was just super overpowered, and was almost impossible to pass up in league play (thus the 95% play time.) However, now that she stabilized, I imagine that other support heroes will see a dramatic uptick in play time. I think Mercy will still get picked, but I know that Ana, Lucio, and Moira will be way more viable with the Mercy nerf in place. It will be interesting to see who will be the second most picked support, and it’s something that I will be looking into once the patch hits the league.

If I had to guess, I would say that the play time after the nerf will see this distribution of support heroes

From greatest to least:

·         Zenyatta

·         Ana

·         Mercy

·         Lucio

·         Moira

·         Symmetra

What do you think? Will Mercy still be the top picked hero in Overwatch League play? Will Zen be the new top? Will Mercy sink to the bottom of the barrel? Tell us what you think by commenting below!

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