Overwatch League teams looking to make an impact at the OWL 2022 Countdown Cup will need to play into the current meta, which revolves around flexibility and Sombra.
This meta was seen thorughout the first stage, becoming the first meta in 2022 that sees Sombra as a frequent pick. A majority of heroes within each roles have also found their value in this meta, meaning players have to be on their toes. After how little variety the previous meta had, the Countdown Cup and play-ins are a lot more open to hero choice.
From set in stone to an open field
When the Summer Showdown meta arrived, fans were quick to compare the meta to one that lives in infamy: GOATs. The classic three-tank, three-support composition that stayed for almost an entire season is something fans have wanted to avoid ever since.
In Overwatch 2, players have attempted to to avoid more of the Junker Queen meta along with metas similar to it. Thankfully, the worry that the Countdown Cup would have a similar meta is over after seeing how the first stage went down.
To put it simply, while some heroes are favored more than others, there isn’t a set best composition right now in the Countdown Cup. At the same time, surprise picks like Sombra are frequent right now.
CANCEL EMP??? Light work for @OwVictoria1 😉
We take Nepal, starting the series 1:0!#BostonUprising | #BostonUp | #BostonWP pic.twitter.com/JqFxJMc2rs
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) September 24, 2022
As for tanks, we’ve seen almost every tank get some playing time aside from Reinhardt. Even Orisa got some playing time from teams such as the Atlanta Reign and Washington Justice. Yet, for both support and DPS, we’ve seen map-dependent choices from Tracer to Widowmaker and Ana to Brigitte throughout this first week.
What this means after the 2022 Countdown Cup
One of the most interesting aspects of this meta is how it will impact the season playoffs.
While the previous three stages had tournaments at the end, the Countdown Cup’s tournament is the play-ins for the season playoffs. Effectively, the teams that play best in this meta can clinch their spots in either the season playoffs or the play-ins. That puts a lot of pressure on teams in that play-in spot right now. Having a bad stage in this open meta can lead to missing the playoffs entirely, or could put a team from auto-qualifications to play-ins.
Later on, when the play-ins are over, the meta will change again with Kiriko joining the fold. But for now, teams have to make sure they can even make it to when Kiriko is added to competitive play. While the Countdown Cup meta has been all about DPS skills like the first two stages of 2022, flexibility is back as the most important strength to have — the main focus right now for the top OWL teams.