Syncing with Sigma: Overwatch’s newest Tank hero
With the release of role queue soon to hit Overwatch PTR, the subsequent reveal of Overwatch’s newest Tank stalwart is fitting to say the least. Siebren de Kuiper, otherwise known as Subject: Sigma, is the latest addition to an Overwatch roster that has been changing rapidly with the last few updates. With role locks getting set for preview, a new tank added to the metagame will shake up a few things and Sigma’s ‘barrier tank’ playstyle will do just that.
The eccentric astrophysicist’s ability to control gravity will be a unique angle that Overwatch Devs have taken as you prepare your hold or engage in attack on the enemy’s base. In this preview, we take a look at the origins of Sigma and what his playstyle will bring to an always-evolving meta, and whether or not his presence in the game will mark a new era overall.
What is that melody?
After a few weeks of teasers via Overwatch’s social media, the hype surrounding Hero 31 aka Sigma has grown to a fever pitch, and with more details released, we can start to speculate on just how potent his kit will be. Jeff Kaplan recently featured in another Developer Update video in which he broke down some of the more nuanced uses of Sigma’s kit that make him more dynamic than previous Tank heroes we’ve seen before.
For example, the use of anti-gravity shields, enabling Sigma to pick and place barriers to aid his team or deter the plans of the enemy will be an added layer of difficulty that can ruin the day of some the omnipresent picks in today’s meta. Just two weeks ago, Shanghai Dragons efficient use of Pharah made the difference in a few key series at the Stage playoffs. With Sigma’s addition to the game, an adept Sigma could do well to frustrate the incessant offense of said Pharah or Sombra.
This ‘experimental barrier’ is the exact kind of tool that tanks can utilize without overpowering the mechanics of crowd control within the game already. CC effects have been staples of Tank gameplay in games of this nature and Overwatch’s attempt to branch out of that modus operandi is admirable to say the least. Depending on cooldown numbers and efficiency of usage within game, Sigma’s core kit could become the next gold standard amongst Tanks within the game overall.
Hero Abilities breakdown
Another interesting aspect of Sigma’s play revolves around his Hyperspheres, his main weapon of attack, that involves more interesting mechanics that make Sigma the dynamic hero that he is. Splash damage and projectile bouncing are the name of the game when it comes to this short range, double burst attack. The Hyperspheres will be able to bounce off a surface one time before detonating on an opponent, and direct hits will cause proximity damage that also compliments the damage he can lay out on the counter engage with his shield.
Sigma’s projectiles also provide a slight gravitational pull, but the soft CC is unlike the other forms displayed by tanks thus far. His primary ability Kinetic Grasp lets Sigma form a protective field of antimatter in front of himself that absorbs incoming damage and transforms it into a 400 HP shield (numbers admittedly said to be tweaked depending on PTR performance).
For offensive utility purposes, Sigma uses the forces of Mother Nature for his Accretion ability as he thrusts a projectile forward towards his enemies. The single target ability causes damage and knocks the enemy down, but offers counterplay ability with its telegraphed windup.
His ultimate ability Gravitic Flux offers an AOE ultimate similar to Doomfist in which Sigma launches himself into the air, trapping enemies within his ultimate and brings them back to the ground in turbulent fashion as the ultimate inflicts massive amounts of damage while also temporarily removing them from the map.
Sigma’s addition to the roster meets a few qualifications for the Overwatch Devs as they deemed Tank involvement and improved barrier defense mechanics as a primary focus when developing Hero 31. Once his numbers get fully fleshed out, there is a possibility that Sigma and his ambitious mechanics will revolutionize the Tank role as we know it, and throw another massive curveball into the professional metagame of Overwatch.