Brigitte’s Inclusion in the Overwatch League Will Change the League’s Meta
On May 16, Brigitte made her debut in the Overwatch League as an available hero for teams to use. Since she was announced, there has been a lot of speculation as to how she would change the meta, especially in the pro scene and the League. Blizzard recently published an article on the Overwatch League website that compiles thoughts on how Brigitte will change the game – literally.
A meta conversation
The article mentions that Brigitte is unusual for a number of reasons. She’s the first hero to enter the League in the middle of the season, and therefore has the potential to affect team compositions for all teams going forward. A team that understands Brigitte well could have an advantage over a team that hasn’t studied her yet. She’s also the first hybrid hero, a combination of the tank and support classes. This increases the situations in which she can be useful, which again forces teams to understand her in order to both effectively use her and play against her on any given map.
Brigitte offers both new counters and new weaknesses for teams looking to incorporate her. Lead designer Geoff Goodman mentions that she was designed with flank-damage heroes like Tracer and Genji in mind: she has the power to both soak their damage and counter them. This means that Brigitte is an effective counter to the “dive” meta, which has been the prevailing for quite a while. She’s good in “one-on-one situations,” where she can stall or take down a flanker looking to destroy a team’s back-line. This has prompted some grandmaster teams to switch to a more burst damage approach, which involves heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, and Hanzo supported by three supports, one of which is usually Brigitte. Support players aren’t the only ones who will use Brigitte. On teams that run triple support, a DPS or off-tank player could also use her effectively.
Overwatch League teams have more flexibility than those participating in regular high-ranking competitive games, as their pitch-perfect communication and coordination as team members helps to overcome issues that arise in solo queue grandmaster play. This means that teams are always looking for ways to play with or against new heroes like Brigitte.
Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson mentions that not all teams will use Brigitte just because she’s new, though. “In general, Brigitte seems to be powerful and meta-changing but [she’s] not instantly accepted as the de facto best choice by professional teams,” he said. League players’ opinions on Brigitte vary greatly: Mayhem DPS player TviQ calls her “ridiculously powerful,” while others think she still isn’t a must-pick.
The new era
Brigitte’s ability to counter strong mobile flankers will mark a big change in the League, as the dive comp has been so integral to teams’ plans that it’s become a lens through which the entire game is understood. Rather than becoming part of an existing meta, Brigitte has the ability to create an entirely new meta and change the way the game is played at very high levels.
Goodman says that she has “very strong advantages but also very strong disadvantages,” which will likely have a big influence on how much and in what situations she is used. It’s important to note that she can’t carry a team on her own–like any other hero, a strong, coordinated team gives her the best chance of being successful. Sideshow thinks that “Brigitte will be truly meta-changing at the professional level, but not as a must-pick all the time.” This might be a good thing, as seeing the same hero on every team can get stale after a while. TviQ says that he’s “always intrigued to play any new meta and new playstyles, because I want to mix things up and I want to try new things.” To players, coaches, analysts, and fans who want something new, Brigitte is the perfect addition to the Overwatch League.