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Overwatch’s Sigma changes everything

Overwatch's Sigma

Overwatch’s newest hero has changed the game in more ways than we could have initially predicted. Sigma has been in the Overwatch League for the past two weeks, being demonstrated by the pros at the highest level. Let’s take a look at how the gravity bending damage-tank is mixing up the game.

Before getting into the nuances of Sigma’s playstyle, it’s crucial to understand the toolkit. His primary fire is two spheres that can bounce off walls, exploding with a small damage radius. Sigma’s first ability is the Experimental Barrier, a shield that is deployed in a straight line and covers a smaller area than Reinhardt’s shield. The Kinetic Grasp is an altered form of D.Va’s defense matrix, giving Sigma the ability to transform damage into shield charge for a short period of time. Accretion is a giant boulder, flung at the enemy, applying a stun that depends on the distance traveled. Sigma’s ultimate, Gravitic Flux, lifts enemies in the air and slams them back into the ground, taking away half of their max health. The toolkit that Sigma brings to the League has challenged the previous meta by promoting a hybrid dive composition.

Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi shows us how powerful Sigma can be with his play at No.2 (50s)

We have previously seen a double shield meta with Reinhardt and Orisa, but Sigma’s deployable shield provides versatility not offered by others. Sigma’s shield is regularly used to cover flanks and off-angles, preventing incoming poke damage. In the Rein-Orisa double shield meta, the only options were to break the shields or attack from behind. In this new meta, damage players have favoured Reaper and Doomfist. Reaper’s ability to Shadowstep behind the enemy and cause mayhem is perfect for circumventing a shield line. Likewise, Doomfist has a host of abilities that allow him to engage and disengage on the enemy backline, and even disrupt an unaware Orisa.

Turns out that Sigma’s abilities are perfect for shutting down the danger imposed by these heroes. 

Reaper’s Death Blossom and Doomfist’s Charge can both be stunned with Sigma’s accretion, opening up opportunities for counter-engagement. Charging Doomfists are often met with a boulder to the face and a swift death in the middle of the enemy backline. Sigma’s Kinetic Grasp turns damage into shield charge, so when a Death Blossom comes his way, or a supercharged Orisa starts causing too many issues, he is there to absorb the damage. In this way, Sigma both created and controls a new meta within the Overwatch League.

Positioning and patience are vital to piloting a successful Sigma. Time and time again in the League, Sigma’s rush their Gravitic Flux and end up with no value from the ultimate. Gravitic Flux is a tool that requires setup, something that Marve1 has displayed well with the Seoul Dynasty. It’s crucial to wait until Lucio’s Sound Barrier is on cooldown, as it has the potential to shut a Gravitic Flux down in it’s tracks. Also, Orisa’s Fortify ability and Reaper’s Wraith Form let these heroes walk out of a Gravitic Flux unharmed.

When looking to capitalize on a Gravitic Flux, have Reaper or Doomfist ready to engage with their ultimate for maximum damage. A perfectly timed Meteor Fist can leave the enemy team scrambling – either stuck in the flux or running from the rest of your team. Sigma is highly vulnerable during his ultimate, often elevated high in the air where many will have a clear shot to take him down.

There is a finesse when it comes to playing Sigma at the highest level, and very few in the Overwatch League have figured it out so far.

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