In spite of the addition of a new hero, Doomfist, and the constant balance changes via patches, the Overwatch meta has remained unchanged for months on end. After the so called Dive composition was heralded as an underdog counter to the three-tank meta that reigned beforehand, it eventually became the most commonly used method, going from underdog to becoming the meta itself.
Metagame in Overwatch refers to tracking and comparing hero usage across the competitive community, analyzing team compilations and coming up with the best techniques based on the contemporary hero stats and abilities. What is referred to as “the meta” is the method of playing which is considered to be statistically the best. Based on precise in-game numbers like damage, health and the specific effects of abilities, one can calculate a team composition which statistically should be the ideal combination of stats.
Whatever your personal feelings on the very concept of meta — some dislike it and would rather have players pick compositions they are personally comfortable with, while others outright deride the meta and claim it ruins the game — it still is the most effective and efficient way to play for the average player who isn’t on a pro level where they can come up with “meta countering” comps.
The idea behind the dive meta is to play extremely aggressively, steamroll the enemy team and wipe them out in a matter of seconds with overwhelming force backed up with extreme mobility. Dive comps can be devastating, however they require teamwork and coordination to work well. There are specific heroes needed to pull off a dive, and so far very few dive-busting comps or techniques have spread among the community.
A typical dive comp is made up of Zarya, Tracer, Winston, Zenyatta and Genji. Some of these heroes can be switches out for others, and the dive set-up has changed some over the course of the many patches the game gets (D.Va has gone in and out of your typical dive roster), so these heroes might soon be nerfed in a way that makes them less than idea for a dive, but currently, they work best.
The idea behind a dive is to hit hard and fast. If a battle drags on, you’ve failed the dive. This is because the technique acts as a sort of glass cannon, with high DPS and mobile, yet fragile heroes being the best picks. The technique itself is simple in concept, but complex in execution. As a team, you need to ram yourselves right into the middle of the enemy mass and tearing them apart with an onslaught within seconds.
Genji’s triple shuriken secondary attack is a fantastic harassment ability and his dragonblade ultimate is perfect for picking off opponents who think they’re safe behind the tanks. Winston should be the first hero of the dive comp leaping into battle, controlling dangerous opponents with his shield and soaking damage while dishing some out as well.
Zenyatta won’t be a direct damage dealer in any major capacity, though his attacks shouldn’t be entirely discounted. It’s his orb of discord that’s key, increasing the damage sustained by opponents. Whenever it is activated on an enemy, all of your teammates should attack that marked target. Tracer’s fast charging ultimate ability gives you a guaranteed elimination right off the bat, beyond which she can be used to quickly get rid of any low-health enemies and finish off those who were softened up by Winston.
Finally, if Zarya puts her shield on Winston before the angry gorilla leaps into battle, her ultimate will charge in no time once the other team-mates enter the fray with shields of their own. Her ult paired with that of any other member of the dive comp is a devastating combination.
Of course, when playing with random players, getting all of this coordinated might be difficult. As a team based game, you should be communicating with the other players anyway, and you can help things along by picking your hero strategically. If there is already a partial dive locked in, pick one of the missing heroes and sort out the other players later on to get things rolling.
There’s no telling when this era in the Overwatch metagame will end, but until the time for a new composition to arise, the dive will remain the best approach to winning matches in the game. Teams who have mastered the dive will be devastating both in quick play and in both the current and upcoming competitive seasons.