It’s been about a week since Overwatch’s Brigitte finally arrived in the competitive scene, making her grand entrance in the tenth season. Equipped with a handful of healing abilities and a solid stun skill, she’s been considered as a pretty big nuisance for some players. Not only is she a strong duelist, but she also poses a threat to flankers and divers alike. Yet, despite the constant clamoring for nerfs, Brigitte is what the game has desperately needed.
As it stands, the dive meta has been one of the longest-running compositions in the game. Following triple tank in season 3, Blizzard had been leaning towards a more intense and fast-paced team composition. They paved the path for faster fights by buffing Winston and D.Va, which also encouraged players to use more flankers and heroes with amazing mobility. The meta was a great change of pace and flowed quite smoothly with how Overwatch generally plays out: fast fights with plenty of action.
For the most part, however, dive has remained the order of the day. Sure, we’ve seen the birth of a few other Overwatch metas between competitive seasons. The infamous Mercy meta, for example, was criticized for being overly tedious and just plain exhausting. Fights revolved around which player had the better Mercy, eventually leading to her nerf. The cheese comp, on the other hand, was a decent strategy before players found a way to counter all those annoying turrets through Pharah’s rockets and Junkrat’s mines. At the end of it all, dive was still the popular choice and pretty much the only decent choice players had to work with.
The issue, though, is that just as with any game, players tend to lose their interest when they wind up with stagnation. Granted, yes, the dive meta was fun and thrilling. But having one consistent hero pool is hardly enough to sustain Overwatch in the years to come. Blizzard’s first-person shooter is meant to be played consistently, and it can get pretty boring having to play Winston or Tracer again in your fifth Overwatch competitive match.
So, in an attempt to shake things up, Blizzard decided to go a different route with Overwatch hero 27. Even before Jeff Kaplan formally revealed Brigitte, he made a bold statement that she would be a “meta changing” hero. And, indeed, from the get-go, it’s pretty clear that she isn’t meant to be used in a dive comp. Her lack of mobility makes it difficult for her to keep up with the likes of Genji and Mercy. Not only that, but her short attack range makes her completely useless if she’s falling behind her team during fights.
To compensate for her flaws, Blizzard gifted her with that amazing shield bash ability. Not only does it have an impressive hitbox, but it’s only sitting with a five-second cooldown. This skill is what truly sets her apart from the other heroes, and is also the anti-dive meta tool the Overwatch has seriously needed. Heroes such as Tracer and even Winston are no match for this skill, leaving them wide open when they get too close to the enemy team. Once they’re stunned, Brigitte’s team can make quick work of the enemy flankers. The fact that it even passes through barriers makes Brigitte incredibly effective against shield bubbles and the defense matrix. And by the time another dive hero jumps in on the fight, Brigitte’s Shield Bash is back up and ready to go.
Thanks to Brigitte’s powerful kit, more and more players are starting to build their team composition around her. Since she works well in tightly-knit groups, we’ve been seeing much more Orisas and Reapers in the competitive scene. Even Reinhardt, who has been a victim of the dive meta, is slowly but surely making his way back into the spotlight. Meanwhile, D.Va is no match against Brigitte and her team, especially when she’s wide open to her stun. Pharah, on the other hand, has been taking to the skies once again, raining justice where Brigitte and other tanky heroes can’t reach her.
Another lingering problem she also managed to address was the severe lack of Overwatch Support heroes. Before Moira, players had been begging Blizzard to add in a new healer to the game. Most Support mains only had to rely on Mercy and Ana to sustain their allies, especially since Lucio and Zenyatta didn’t have much healing output. And while Moira was a solid addition to the game, adding another off-healer guaranteed that Overwatch players had their fair share of Support heroes to choose from.
Overwatch competitive season 10 is seeing some serious mix-ups in terms of team play and composition. Since she also acts as an off-tank, players have even been experimenting with their own different metas. Nowadays, there are teams that actually run a triple support meta consisting of Brigitte, a main healer, and another off-healer. Who knows what other metas players will stumble across in the near future? Brigitte’s addition to the game spans more than simply being a new hero, but rather, an enabler that gives players the leeway they need to try something new and keep the game fresh.