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LA Gladiators Surefour talks problems with Mercy meta & why too few heroes hurts every meta

By Josh Lee
Nov 02, 2017
Lane "Surefour" Roberts, DPS player for the LA Gladiators, on the Mercy meta, adding heroes, and the start of the Overwatch League.

Many people within the professional and competitive scene, whether it's casters, players, fans, like MonteCristo for example he talked about how Mercy's rez just kind of ruins teamfights and the viewing experience. Would you agree with that, disagree? What are your thoughts on that?

The thing with the resurrection in a game like Overwatch is it's really, it rewards defending a lot more. Back before Mercy was played a lot, the defenders kind of had to play perfectly in a sense because if they made a mistake, they automatically lost a fight. Like for example if you're on Hollywood first point and someone's sitting on top of cafe and they just randomly get picked off by Widow or a Zen, most likely you're going to lose the first point Hollywood because once it becomes like a 5v6 disadvantage the offense are like alright now is our time to go in, we have the upper hand. In a game like Overwatch, when it's 5v6 it's much harder to win. But if you have Mercy into account, you can make mistakes or play more lax, and if a mistake happens, the enemy team can't really punish it that much. Because if you go out of your way to go into a zone to take someone out of the fight and you expend all of your resources to make that happen, and they just get rezzed again, then you're put in a very disadvantageous position because the defenders have all the options to play around with you, because you have to go into them and once you've expended all your resources to do that and they're just back up again, then you kind of just die.

What do you think is the right answer for a pro team who's attacking to deal with the Mercy then?

See before you could be like a Genji, or a Widow, or a Tracer or Hanzo, and you get that pick. And you're like, that's really rewarding because you had to be skillful enough to like actually have the headshot or be a Tracer and go in their backline and manage around and then be able to pick off someone. But then they just get rezzed. So now you have to play a lot more lax and either wait until the Mercy's dead or kind of like poke them, then get a pick, then get rez, and then wait again and then try and get a pick again and make sure that it wasn't in the timeframe of 30 seconds so they don't just rez again. So the game is a lot more slower and it doesn't reward skillful plays because even if someone makes-- outplays someone, the outplay's reversed from a rez, so you have to play a lot safer

Okay let's do a hypothetical. You are now the head of a Overwatch game design, you're the boss, you get to call the shots. What is your first executive order?

Make more heroes.

How often you want to see heroes added, because right now it's like one every four months or so, right? How often would you like to see new heroes added?

In an unworldly, impossible way.

You're the boss! How often?

One every month.

For how long?

Forever.

Forever. Do you think the game will ever get to a point where, oh man we have too many heroes now.

I mean Overwatch is a type of game that has abilities so it has like a MOBA aspect to it and a lot of heroes will counter other heroes purely based on abilities. And I think one of the reasons there is a staleness in meta a lot of times is because there's not enough heroes to actually play around each other a lot. Back when D-Va had like four seconds of matrix, all the hitscan heroes were kind of like, we're all countered, so we'll play all the heroes that don't get affected by D-Va that much. So I think, and one of the reasons there's so much staleness in supports is because there are so few sports to play. So if you had more options to play around there's more things to do and there's just a lot more versatility. So I think more heroes weaving help the game and I even think at one point when there's enough heroes you can add like a hero banning system. So like right now it wouldn't really work because there's not enough and banning one hero would like effect a strong core of Overwatch. But if you add like a banning system it would kind of like artificially make it so there isn't like a meta, per say. So like say one team was like really good at dive. If you banned one of the core here use to dive then they have to adapt differently. And then the viewing matches differently. But then in a different game they might not ban the dive, and then another team will play dive. But then at the same time you can switch from playing that dive, even if you wanted to, even if there is a ban mid match.

Thing you're looking forward to most, OWL.

Of course I'm really excited for the Overwatch League. I mean every professional Overwatch player has been waiting for this ever since the announcement. And it should be really fun finally just everyone being in the same place, playing on a LAN, no online tournaments, everyone at the same place, same time, for a long amount of time.

Interview
Josh Lee profile
Josh Lee
Josh is the lead Overwatch Producer at Blitz Esports. He's also been spotted casting a few Overwatch and League of Legends tournaments.
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