Tracer’s Undeniable Grip on OWL

The Overwatch League launched in early January, and it hasn’t taken long for every team in the league to designate a dedicated Tracer player. Aside from the brief intermission of the Widow/Junkrat metagame at the end of Stage 2, Tracer has been ubiquitous in almost every game and has slowly evolved from the back line assassin she used to be to a consistent damage dealer in a dive-heavy meta.

According to Winston’s Lab, Tracer snags an impressive 25% of all team kills and has some of the best combined KDAs in the entire league. On winning teams, Tracer players can score 8.0 KDAs or higher like complete monsters, all while casually styling on their opponents and dropping BM sprays.

It’s no secret that Tracer’s a strong hero, but what’s impressive has been her resiliency. Despite a handful of “counters” like Winston and McCree, she’s thrived through multiple metas and even become a trademark for the league itself. Whether it’s a rather tank heavy meta, a dive meta, or some sort of poke meta, Tracer has the chops to get behind enemy lines and wreak havoc.

Tracer’s uncanny ability to sidestep the meta is exemplified in the use of Pulse of Bomb. During Stage 1 when Mercy was the go-to support, it was especially important to eliminate the Mercy before or during a big fight so that she couldn’t get the double resurrect off with Valkyrie. Unsurprisingly, Tracer was the perfect hero for the job. How many times was Mercy eliminated by Tracer bombs in Stage 1? Too many to count.

And yet, even with the Mercy nerfs in patch 19.3 and a new era of tank-heavy compositions, Tracer is standing tall in Stage 2. With beefier compositions and the prevalence of Winston and Zarya, it looked like Tracer might have trouble busting tankier comps, but instead she’s become more relevant than ever. Now that Resurrect isn’t as powerful (and Mercy has been generally replaced by Lucio), single target eliminations mean much more, especially on tanks. It’s easy for Tracer to deal a bit of damage to one of the diving tanks like Winston or DVa and quickly finish them off with a Pulse Bomb.

In the recent match between Seoul and Dallas in Week 2, Munchkin repeatedly stuck xQc’s Winston and effectively shut down the Fuel’s aggressive tank line to expose the weaker DPS players in the back line. It’s also become common practice to de-mech DVa at every opportunity, and Tracer players are perfectly willing to use a Pulse Bomb to do that knowing that DVa is effectively dead after losing her MEKA suit. You can worry about the back line when there’s no front line left.

Will Tracer survive into the next metagame? All signs point to “yes”, but with the upcoming buffs to Sombra, it looks like she might be getting replaced…at least for now.

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