Why supports don't feel useful in the Overwatch 2 beta
Overwatch 2 Ana
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Why supports don’t feel useful in the Overwatch 2 beta

A lack of significant updates alongside 5v5 make support harder than ever before

Out of all the roles within the Overwatch 2 beta, the queue time for support is significantly shorter, while the other two roles are longer. This indicates that supports aren’t played as often in the beta, despite some great changes for their role and the game.

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There are multiple explanations for this, but let’s start with the most obvious one.

5v5 makes support a tougher role

Plain and simple, playing support in the 5v5 version of Overwatch heavily changes how you play. With two tanks in the original Overwatch, supports were essentially designed to either go alongside their teams like Lucio or Mercy or sit back and heal from a distance like Ana and Baptiste. Support was a very reactive role, and even in Overwatch 2, elements of that remain. However, the biggest change that 5v5 has done is make every role more proactive.

As stated in interviews with pros and analysts from the alpha, every player matters more and proactive players are rewarded for that more than ever before. This leads to flankers who have high mobility like Genji starting as some of the strongest heroes. At the same time, this means reactive supports have a tougher time, now having to deal with more flankers. Plus, healing tanks to full was easy and built up ultimate charge super fast. With the tank changes along with 5v5, healers have to be more accurate with their heals alongside dealing with better DPS. That lone puts them into a tougher position, even if they do gain health regeneration.

Support receives the least changes for the Overwatch 2 beta

Now, as much as the role itself has changed in the Overwatch 2 beta, it’s also factual to say that the support role has received the least changes for Overwatch 2 so far. This was because there are more options for both other roles in the game right now. With Doomfist’s change to tank, there are nine tanks in Overwatch 2 and 17 DPS, but only seven supports.

With no significant reworks or changes for supports, the role felt like the original Overwatch, but harder. In fact, the biggest changes for supports in Overwatch 2 are the nerfs to Brigitte, removing the Shield Bash’s stun and changing her armor packs to healing packs. The only supports who came into Overwatch 2 noticeably strong are Lucio and Moira. These healers became harder to kill with the new role passive of health regeneration.

With more content or larger changes for supports, they should feel either better or more enjoyable in Overwatch 2. In fact, this is what the beta is for: to hear from the community and fix problems. As for whether they’re good or bad, that has spiked many hot takes online, like this one from Toronto Defiant content creator and streamer Nathan ‘KarQ’ Chan.

“SUPPORTS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD,” KartQ tweeted. “This whole time I thought the passive kicked in after 2s…but it’s 1s before 15 HP/s. 1 SECOND. Each day, players are making better adjustments with natural cover t synergize with the passive.”

If there is one thing that this thread states, it’s that supports in the Overwatch 2 beta have to adapt. It will take more time than tank or DPS players, but it can still happen.

Author
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Michael Czar
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.