ESTNN takes a look at the Double Shield Meta at the Overwatch World Cup.
When Sigma was first announced, he rapidly grew in popularity and got paired with the powerful Doomfist in most cases. At the Overwatch World Cup, the Doomfist Sigma meta evolved and was played by nearly every team with the occasional variations from Team USA and Team France. The current meta is a variation of double shield that promotes skilled damage players to shine with the proper setup.
Reaper is used to pressure tanks and chunk away damage while healing himself over time. The double shield meta forces Reaper to stay in the front line and chip away at weak shields, or to push past them entirely and flank from the backside. His Shadow Step ability lets him get on the high ground or teleport into the enemy backline and wreak mayhem. If not done carefully, this move can be obvious and shut down with an Accretion rock from Sigma, or a mean right hook from Doomfist. The Wraith Form is another valuable asset that allows Reaper to choose when to disengage, but the fairly long cooldown makes timing key. Reaper pumps out more damage than anyone else in this lineup, so it is up to him to keep the pressure and eliminate the enemy. His Death Blossom is instrumental in wiping out teams, but we will talk about combinations later.
Doomfist is the frontline aggression of this meta, and his skill set is all about disrupting the enemy. Whether it’s stunning a Reaper during his Death Blossom or slamming support heroes into a wall, the execution has to be perfect. If not, he ends up in the backline with no way to escape and nothing to show for the dive. Moira can bail him out at times, but without the shield bonuses he gets, it usually doesn’t last long. Doomfist is a high-risk, high-reward hero that requires insane technical skills. Sometimes Doomfist is swapped out for Mei thanks to her powerful CC abilities low risk-high reward playstyle. Her Blizzard and wall disables and splits enemy teams forcing them to play out of position.
The double shield is the foundation of this meta and starts with none other than Orisa. Despite the obvious strength of her deployable shield and high health pool, her fortify ability lets her walk out of Sigma and Mei ultimates, and absorb a Doomfist punch for the team. Her halt ability time and time again is perfect for pulling the enemy together for Sigma, Reaper, Doomfist, or Mei’s ultimate. Her supercharger isn’t the greatest, but sometimes the extra bit of damage is all you need to win a team fight, especially in a battle of pure skill.
The madlad scientist fit into the competitive scene quicker than any other hero before. His deployable shield is useful and allows him to cover off angles, and when all shields are down, his Kinetic Grasp lets him push forward and convert incoming damage into shield charge. His Accretion Rock and Gravitic Flux, however, are the big guns of his toolset. These skills make Sigma the perfect counter and complement Reaper enabling him to shut down a potential Death Blossom or weaken the enemy for his Reaper. We will be going into synergy and counters later on in the video.
Moira replaced Ana as the main healer in this meta primarily due to Sigma being able to place a shield between a majority of the team and healers in the backline. Moira can send orbs inflicting both damage and healing her teammates while maneuvering in and out of battle. Her Coalescence ultimate ignores all shields and can heal for insane amounts while also inflicting damage. Moira’s value comes from being able to heal diving damage players without throwing herself into the fray.
Lucio’s utility remains consistent throughout every meta he has been included in. Get the team in fast, know when to speed boost them out, and time sound barrier to protect the lives of your team. His agility and versatility make him a tricky target to pin down, and he can change the pace of battle with ease. In this meta, Reaper’s love dropping down from above to deliver a devastating Death Blossom, but Lucio maintaining the high ground can use his boop to push Reapers and Doomfists out of position. Sound Barrier can be used in a Sigma ultimate, and the “invisible floor” gives a bigger window of timing.
Coordination and Counters
— Team USA Overwatch ?? (@USAOWWC) November 3, 2019
This meta requires careful timing for destructive combos, but just about every hero is this meta either pairs with another or counters another hero. When it comes to the big combos that end up in team wipes, it all starts with Sigma’s Gravitic Flux and Orisa’s Halt orb. Ensuring that you get most of the team in a Gravitic Flux can be frustrating, but using Orisa’s Halt orb can help. When the enemies are in the Gravitic Flux, Reaper can dive in for a nasty Death Blossom or Doomfist can come down with a Meteor Strike.
An enemy Lucio can use Sound Barrier within the Gravitic Flux while up in the air, but Orisa’s Supercharger is a welcome damage boost to the extra chunks of health. Reaper’s Death Blossom can be interrupted by an Accretion Rock or Doomfist charge fist, so baiting out stun abilities is key to executing these plays.
Moira’s main utility comes when she can save a diving damage player while also inflicting some hurt on the enemy team. Often in this meta, Reaper's will take to the high ground before dropping down with his ultimate to devastate the enemy team.
Lucios have a responsibility to watch the high ground and boop these divisive Reapers out of place or displace a Doomfist as he is charging in. Cooldowns are everything for heroes like Reaper and Doomfist, when to engage and when to disengage is timed around their mobility skills, and stun abilities are usually saved for these divers.
Despite the distaste for the double shied meta, Sigma brings a lot to the table with his skill set and can place shields in places that no other tanks can. There is plenty of time before the Overwatch League starts up again, but so far this meta has been enjoyable to watch and has flexibility in playstyle.