Last week we introduced a guide to fantasy Overwatch’s format and common principles on Winston’s Lab, this week we dive into how data from the Overwatch League and Overwatch World Cup can help determine which roles we ought to prioritize when picking players in fantasy Overwatch. It is important to identify player talent and predict game script (how a matchup is likely to impact the game’s progress), but since the meta and scoring format reward hero roles differently, we can use the most recent data to determine how best to prioritize picking amongst flex tanks, main tanks, flex supports, main supports, and DPS players. DPS players are commonly assumed to score the most fantasy points since they get kills, damage, and flashy plays, but they were regularly outscored by flex supports and main tanks in Season 1. After examining the scoring of different roles, before and after Brigitte’s introduction, we will show why flex supports, main tanks, and DPS should be prioritized, in that order.
While DPS players used to be split between Tracer mains and flex DPS (typically Widowmaker and projectile heroes), that distinction became outdated with Brigitte’s involvement in Stage 4 of Season 1. After Stage 3, I analyzed each prior week’s top 25 point-scorers and found that, on average, 43% were DPS, 30% were flex supports, 18% were main tanks, and the remaining 9% were split amongst flex tanks and main supports. Of the top DPS scorers, 56% mained Tracer (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) and 44% were flex DPS. With the emergence of GOATS comp however, those days are long behind us. While the game’s balance will continue to evolve, it should still be useful to analyze the data from Stage 4 of Season 1 and the most recent available World Cup data (from the Paris Qualifiers) since the meta hasn’t radically shifted. Based on an examination of the top 25 point-scorers across that dataset, we find the following:
Although DPS and flex supports remain dominant, scoring by role has become more balanced overall. The percentage of main supports and flex tanks in the top 25 has doubled, main tanks have increased slightly (by 2%), and both flex supports and DPS have decreased (by 4.4% and 9.5%, respectively). As tanks account for 30.5% of the top 25, DPS for 32.5%, and supports for 37% — the roles have fairly evened out. While, at 25.6%, you still remain most likely to land a top 25 point-scorer with a talented flex support, main tanks (at 20.3%) and individual DPS (16.2%) are not too far behind. Looking at average points scored (amongst the top 25) however, the gap between flex supports and other roles feels much wider.
The average flex support in the top 25 point-scorers across Stage 4 and the Paris World Cup Qualifiers averaged 283 points, while DPS and main tanks averaged 245, flex tanks averaged 241, and main supports averaged 232. Not only are flex supports much more likely to outscore other roles, they are likely to do so by a fair margin. The difference between a top-scoring flex support’s average score and the next-highest role’s score is 38 points. Conversely, the difference between the second-highest-scoring role’s average score and the lowest-scoring role’s average score is just 13 points. High-performing flex supports offer a major advantage, but all other roles are comparably viable given their similar average scores. In sum, fantasy owners should trust their intuition about players and teams, especially when gambling on lower- or middle-tier players. But, when picking amongst top-tier players, owners should probably prioritize flex supports, main tanks, DPS, flex tanks, and main supports, in that order.
* Words are by Tepojama who can be found on Twitter ready to talk fantasy or trade Chopped & Screwed Overwatch theme song beats.
Featured image credit goes to Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment. *