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Overwatch: Blizzard says support characters aren’t getting shafted in competitive

by Joey Davidson | April 20, 2017

There’s been this ongoing theory for a while now that support characters don’t receive nearly as much SR (the points that slide you up and down the ranked scale in Overwatch‘s competitive mode) as the other classes. A Mercy, according to these folks, doesn’t gain SR as fast as a Reinhardt or Soldier 76.

This has all been anecdotal since players are unable to genuinely gather data on a larger scale. Blizzard, however, can. So they are.

Principal Designer Scott Mercer took to the Battle.net forums to talk about this subject specifically.

The calculation of your SR adjustment after a match doesn’t look at your teammates, but instead compares you to the performance of other similarly skilled players with that hero across an enormous pool of competitive matches. So, we compare your Genji play to the play of other Genjis, Ana vs. Anas, etc. Since we’re comparing “apples to apples”, we shouldn’t see any kind of support specific bias in SR adjustments due to player performance.

With him so far? It doesn’t matter how you do next to your team, it matters how your play compares to all the other heroes you just played out there near your rank.

Blizzard says their investigation hasn’t yielded any proof, but they want to listen

Mercer went on to say that they haven’t found any link between playing support and earning less SR; however, he says they want to investigate the issue in earnest and see if they can pin anything down.

We’re still seeing anecdotal reports of some players experiencing lower SR gains on wins, but we’ve also been seeing other reports from other support players that their SR gains look correct. Based upon our investigations so far doesn’t look like there’s a broad systemic issue affecting all supports across all competitive matches. There might be a more localized issue affecting a specific hero, or a certain type of play style or game situation. It also might be something completely unexpected, so we’re doing a thorough examination of all the code that affects SR adjustment.

I play support almost exclusively these days. It feels like I’m earning less rank than I used to, but it’s possible that I’m just not a great support player. What do you think?


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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...