The Overwatch League opened its spring stage qualifiers last weekend, and with it, a distinct dive meta took shape that resulted in a staunch juxtaposition between professional hero selections and those on the competitive ladder.
Since the beginning of Overwatch 2, Winston has been among the least-picked tank heroes in the game’s competitive ladder, despite not having any drastic changes to his kit or playstyle.
Meanwhile, in the past three months, his pick rate places him among the bottom three tank heroes in the game, according to Overbuff. He is picked more than only Junker Queen and Roadhog, the latter of whom was nerfed into the ground when Blizzard got rid of his one-shot capabilities.
Luckily for Winston, professional players don’t rely on what casual players use in their competitive matches to craft their own compositions though, because during opening weekend, Winston was by far the most used tank in the league.
Getting used 54.23 percent of the time, according to a tweet posted by former OW pro Samito, Winston was the tank of the week for pro players, representing more than triple what the second most-used tank.
Sigma, who was used just under 15 percent of the time, was second place to Winston in terms of usage, and D.va was just below that with around 9.5 percent. Another underrepresented hero on the competitive ladder, Junker Queen, was fourth in terms of tank usage, getting the nod 6.46 percent of the time.
Winston’s high usage rate in the Overwatch League stems from a shift to a more dive-centric meta from pros. Often paired with Tracer, Sombra, and/or Genji, the tank can be especially lethal. This was made especially clear by both Tracer and Sombra being the top DPS selections in the league. They were used 33.96 and 23.5 percent of the time, respectively, despite not being nearly as well represented in competitive play, according to Overbuff.
Additionally, Winston’s 43.66-percent win rate on the competitive ladder over the past three months, according to Overbuff, makes him the second worst among tanks, only better than Roadhog. So not only is he selected infrequently, but when he is, he underperforms in competitive modes where players might not optimize their team composition to promote dive synergies like OWL pros do.