Overwatch screenshot of Tracer, D.Va and Brigitte dancing

[Update]: Baptiste has now arrived to the live servers alongside a truly game-changing set of balance tweaks.

If you've been paying attention to the Overwatch League, chances are you've noticed that most teams are running some variant of GOATs (triple tank and triple support), with very few DPS heroes ever being played for any extended period of time. Not exactly an ideal situation, especially considering that DPS heroes make up the greatest portion of Overwatch's roster.

In order to address this problem, as well as freshen up the competitive meta, Blizzard has once again updated the Overwatch PTR with a variety of balance changes. You can find all of the details over at the official website, but for now, allow me to share with you the most important changes:


Biotic Launcher

- Can now be stopped from automatically reloading by switching the Automatic Reload option to OFF. This option defaults to ON

Immortality Field

- Made significant changes to its visual appearance and sounds


Frag Launcher

- Impact damage increased from 40 to 50


- Cost increased by 10%

Developer Comments: Junkrat is one of the best barrier and tank busters in the game, and this change will help solidify this role. This doesn’t change the Frag Launcher’s explosive damage, which remains at 80. The total damage for direct impact is now 130, up from 120. We’re increasing the cost of his ultimate to balance this change with his increased damage-dealing capabilities.


Amp It Up

- Speed Boost’s amplification reduced from 70% to 50%


- Speed Boost’s effect reduced from 30% to 20%

Sonic Amplifier

- Soundwave now counts towards Offensive Assists

Wall Ride

- Speed buff increased from 20% to 40%

Developer Comments: The knockback on Lúcio’s Soundwave is a great tool for pushing enemies into situations that get them killed, so they should be rewarded an offensive assist for doing so. Lúcio’s ability to increase his teammate’s speed was too strong, especially when used on high health/low range heroes. We’re decreasing the overall power of Lúcio’s Speed Boost but increasing the speed bonus he gets from using Wall Ride so his mobility isn’t impacted too much.


Fan the Hammer

- Damage reduced from 55 to 50


- Damage per second increased from 275 to 550 after locking onto targets for 1.5 seconds

Developer Comments: After reducing armor’s effectiveness for all heroes, Fan the Hammer doesn’t need to deal quite as much damage. Increasing Deadeye’s damage after being locked on for a bit makes it more effective when attacking high health, static targets (like barriers) and heroes with over 250 health. It will not impact how dangerous this is for heroes under 250 health.


The Reaping

- Healing received from dealing damage reduced from 50% to 40%

Developer Comments: A recent change that increased Reaper’s healing while he dealt damage was a bit too strong, sometimes making opponents feel like Reaper was unstoppable.


Particle Cannon

- Alternative Fire’s explosion radius changed to 2 meters, regardless of energy level

Developer Comments: Zarya’s damage greatly increases when at high energy, while also gaining increased beam size and a larger explosion radius. This often allowed Zarya to deal too much damage and made the explosions from the Alternate Fire on her Particle Cannon nearly impossible to avoid. This change will still allow Zarya to deal a lot of damage, but makes it more difficult to actually apply the damage.


Orb of Destruction

- Damage increased from 46 to 48

Orb of Discord

- Effect reduced from 30% to 25%

Developer Comments: Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord makes him a nearly irreplaceable support hero on your team. We’re reducing its impact for Zenyatta’s team, but increasing the potency of the Orb of Destruction to compensate for its lesser effect.

These latest changes, combined with the ones from last week, should be enough to thoroughly shake up the competitive meta. After all, pretty much every GOATs hero has been nerfed, while their direct counters have either been buffed or have received some nice quality of life changes. So if this doesn't do the trick, I really don't know what will.

As for what exactly the meta will be like once GOATs becomes a slightly more niche composition, I honestly can't tell you. However, judging by how things have gone throughout Overwatch's history, I wouldn't be too surprised if dive once again becomes dominant, and with it Tracer and Genji. Whatever the case may be, I can only hope it'll be a meta where pretty much every hero can find themselves a spot, even if it's only on a couple of specific maps. 

Once the update goes live, or if Blizzard releases another wave of changes, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, I'd highly recommend downloading the PTR and checking out the new hero Baptiste!