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A new look into hero playtime throughout the three seasons of Overwatch League reveals which characters are the most popular among pros.

Overwatch Game

Overwatch
Overwatch

Of the many hero-based shooters on the market today, Overwatch is still one of the most recognizable. When Blizzard’s signature team shooter released in 2016, it made waves due to addicting gameplay and memorable characters. Despite the changes since then, new data reveals which heroes have remained the most popular in Game throughout the years.

Keep in mind, the video by YouTuber Magnar specifically looks at time played during professional Game League matches. This is important because the official league did not actually start until 2018, and only encompasses three seasons. There have been many meta strategies, like Dive and GOATs, but even so certain characters reign supreme.

Surprising to the community

It may not be surprising to the community that Tank and Support characters top the chart. By far the most played hero is D.Va even with a need for buffs. The whopping amount of 60,752 minutes, or over 1,000 hours in total, is clearly testament to her popularity in the pro scene. Next up is Zenyatta due to coming in at 50,056 minutes across Game League seasons. Though significant, Lucio and Winston come online at 41,554 and 35,310 respectively, almost half of D.Va’s overall time.

What may be more shocking to fans is the lack of DPS heroes in the top ranks. The only one in the entire top ten is Tracer, thanks to having 27,079 minutes of professional play. The rest include other Tank and Supports like Mercy, Brigitte, and Reinhardt. As the chart continues, Game’s best and worst DPS heroes start to pop up while play time drops considerably. At the bottom are characters like Torbjorn, Bastion, and Symmetra, mostly because each are prime targets for coordinated teams.

The Data

This data is intriguing as it showcases how certain heroes stay popular regardless of buffs or nerfs. For instance, Brigitte has received countless tweaks since her launch, but still manages to make it into the top ten in the Game League. D.Va on the other hand is less surprising, as her signature design has resulted in merchandise, countless cosplays, and even an animated short by Blizzard. While some may have thought Reinhardt would rank higher due to his universal strength and accessible playstyle, he just makes it in as number 9.

If anything though, this data reveals that the cast in Game is by no means balanced. When the game launched, being able to contribute as any of the diverse heroes was a large part of the appeal. As time has gone on, this is somewhat of a pipe dream in the professional league. Characters like Torbjorn or Symmetra rely on fun gimmicks that can be powerful in casual play, but stand no chance against competitive stacks of 6 players. That said, Game 2 and passive role abilities are coming, so it is possible these changes could benefit less-played heroes. For now, fans will want to stick with D.Va or Zenyatta.

Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

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