If there’s one class that’s been getting massively overlooked by Overwatch players, it has to be the support/healing class. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise – it isn’t easy for healers to get Play of the Game, and that prestigious honor often goes to hard-hitting characters like Bastion and Junkrat, both of whom can decimate an entire enemy team with their Ultimate abilities. On the other hand, support characters like Lucio and Mercy don’t have many offensive capabilities, and perhaps that’s why the support class seems a little less glamorous.
However, what players are failing to realize is that you definitely need at least one support character on your Overwatch team if you want to survive longer than 30 seconds on each spawn. Take D.Va or Reinhardt for instance – both are tank characters with massive amounts of HP, but you’ll find that it’s extremely easy to whittle their health down with just two characters shooting them from a distance. D.Va’s fusion cannon is only effective at close range, and Reinhardt doesn’t have any ranged attacks at all. Without any support, all the enemy team has to do is group up and focus fire on these tank characters, and they’ll be down in no time.
If you have a good healer on your team, everything changes. Imagine playing as D.Va and having Mercy heal you up as you tank damage from the enemy team. You’ll be able to fire at close range, and last a lot longer in battle as you take down your enemies one by one. If your HP is maxed out, Mercy can even buff your damage instead, allowing you to kill things quickly.
While I haven’t spent as much time with Lucio as I have with Mercy, he has a particularly useful ability that allows him to provide his nearby allies with temporary shields. In a game as fast-paced as Overwatch, gaining just that bit of invincibility is crucial for landing a good play, or stopping an entire enemy team from overrunning your capture point. Sure, you could get Play of the Game very easily by activating an Ultimate ability at the right time, but wouldn’t it be even better if you actually stayed alive long enough to continue pursuing your objective and lead the team to victory? That’s where the support class comes in – that kind of survivability is only possible with the aid of a good support character.
The good news is, it looks like Overwatch players are starting to realize how invaluable the support characters are. Over at the game’s subreddit, there have been multiple threads about how players are making it a point to upvote healers, just to show their appreciation for the good work that they do. It’s common knowledge that support characters will rarely get Play of the Game, if ever. As someone who mains as Mercy, it certainly is nice to know that my healer’s work is getting noticed and being appreciated.
To all of you healers out there, don’t worry about not getting the chance to ‘shine’ in an Overwatch match. Your teammates are aware of the hard work that you put in to save their lives. Also, I’ve found that healers and support characters tend to show up on the post-game screen fairly consistently, as long as you’ve been doing your job. I guess the main takeaway is this: if you ever find yourself in a team full of tank or offensive characters with no healers in sight, take a chance on the support class and see how you fare with them. Who knows? You just might discover a new sense of satisfaction that comes with keeping your team alive, supporting them from the wings, and buffing them enough to make that final push to victory.