A diffrent take on Symmetra (Long, Sorry)

General Discussion
The general consensus on Symmetra is that she's an ineffective hero that only works in her niche and at the highest levels she doesn't even have a niche. Under this view her high winrate is ignored because as a niche hero she is believed to be put into use mostly during situations that are to her advantage and that she is pulled out when she is losing.

After reading lots of forum posts, looking at random players profiles, playing Sym a bit, and looking at various stats I no long believe the general consensus.

Sym's pickrate has never been high but, it's taken around a 15-40%(Overbuff) hit on most platforms in most tiers of QP/Competitive since Moira's release and she's below a 1% pick rate in PC Competitive play and that falls to around .5% at Grand Master. The low pick rate suggests that she's either not effective most of the time or that most people don't like her as much as other heros.

In addition to her low pick rate we have another interesting occurrence related to Sym. A significant number of people are complaining that players are using Sym at bad times or all of the time. As many of the complaints are coming from the PC Competitive at the higher ranks this suggests one of several things:

1. Matchmaking is failing/the population is low either of which can throw people in with the same people over and over and a few unlucky people get tossed in with one trick Sym.

2. The amount of complaining about Sym is disproportionate to the actual issue.

3. Players are regularly playing Sym outside of what people think her niche is.

Looking at the profiles of various players that play Sym frequently on Master Overwatch I noticed that for many of them the results that they get on heros other than Sym are less impressive than the results they have on Sym.


If you look at this chart made by Ethan “Beezy” Spector the Senior Analyst for the Philadelphia Fusion you'll see that at 4K + players in the roughly 1,000 person sample he has that play mainly as Sym take a nearly 40% hit in winrate when they play something other than Sym the average for the other heros is around a 7.7% hit for players that main and 21.6% for one tricks. Some of a hit would generally be expected as practice would improve your results on a hero and capabilities don't necessarily transfer fully from one hero to another.

(The full article is here https://medium.com/beezy-work/one-tricking-vs-hero-maining-in-high-elo-overwatch-an-empirical-analysis-6f753068068)

The large gap in effectiveness that goes significantly beyond that of other heros suggests that Symmetra is actually lifting players to skill ratings beyond what the rest of their abilities might merit. To be blunt: She's actually overpowered at many skill levels.

It's true that Symmetra does not appear in Overwatch League and has a limited presence in the top 500 on PC which does suggest she probably does not play effectively at the very top levels of skill/coordination but, that's not the level most players are at. (Note: The #9 on the PS4 has played Sym in most games this season. Granted from what I've heard they tend to play in a big stack at odd times but still...)

Looking at my own stats and the stats for most of the people I've played with recently (for those that have played Sym at least an hour) virtually everyone does well on Sym compared to other heros win rate wise.

Sym's value to the team isn't as flashy or as clearly skillful as it is for other heros. When I get POTG's as Sym it's met with groans rather than anyone being impressed the ults are also relatively passive.

TLDR: The combination of complaints about Sym being chosen, Sym's high winrate, Sym's low pick rate, Sym's players lack of comparable success on other heros, general success of players on Sym, and the number of profiles that I saw that have barely ever play her suggests her problems might be more in the enjoyment department than they are in the effectiveness department at most players skill levels.

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