Last month, Sigma was unveiled as Overwatch’s 31st hero—a mysterious tank that can control gravity with a variety of intriguing abilities. His enigmatic kit had many pros eager to jump on the new character right away, some for fun and some in preparation for the season playoffs, for which Sigma will make his debut on the Overwatch League stage.
I spoke to nine of them—main tanks, flex tanks, and Sigma enthusiasts—to get their impressions of the new hero. Many were in agreement about his toolkit (fun to play) or his skill level (very high), but as it’s still early days for Sigma on the live patch, there are still question marks. What kind of role will he occupy in the current meta? Which heroes will he have the strongest synergy with? Everyone I polled had different thoughts.
Don’t miss his debut on Friday—we’re about to find out which teams and players have the strongest (non-kinetic) grasp on Sigma.
Pan-Seung “Fate” Koo, Florida Mayhem
When I saw Sigma for the first time, I thought he would be fun hero to play. Not sure yet what his role will be, but I think he’ll be a good off-tank. The design and concept of the hero is very creative. I think his shield is a decent size, and he can place it anywhere he wants. His ‘E’ skill, Accretion, is very interesting.
I think Sigma will have good synergy with Orisa, because he has high damage while Orisa can shield in the frontline and tank all of the damage. Also, he could be good with Wrecking Ball, who can take enemy aggro, while Sigma places a shield to create good synergy. In the brief time I’ve played Sigma, I think Doomfist is the biggest counter. If the next patch has any updates on damage heroes or healers, I think there will be a meta shift, but I think the tank line will still be Orisa and D.Va or Roadhog.
Lucas “Note” Meissner, Dallas Fuel
Overall, I think his abilities are really unique; there’s nothing else super similar. His ‘E,’ Accretion, is a super cool and well-designed ability, and I’m a really big fan of that. His ult is more interesting; it’s a different take on Graviton Surge, except it does a lot of damage on top of it, which is pretty helpful. He’s very immobile—he’s a super, super slow tank floating around. Overall, he’s a fun character to play, but I’m still not sure exactly where he fits into the meta.
His standard weapon, Hyperspheres, is probably the most unique weapon in the game, having the two orbs and the bouncing factor. The limited range adds some unique range-spacing you can do—just by setting up properly, there will always be AOE. Overall, it just feels really satisfying to use when you’re hitting a lot [of shots], and that’s a good measure for any character in Overwatch—if you’re playing it correctly, it feels satisfying to play. All of his abilities feel like they’re easy and fun to use.
He can move his shield very frequently! I was surprised—I thought it would be like, you put it down, maybe there’s a cooldown involved, but the only cooldown is the recharging on the shield, otherwise it feels like you can move and place and change it whenever you want. His shield is good on its own, and it’s really good for zoning out DPS trying to flank, but its biggest issue is that it’s not a round shield and it’s not movable like Reinhardt’s shield is, so that’s where Orisa comes into play as that real actual main tank. On the other side, Sigma can block combos on his own, his Kinetic Grasp is really good for soaking up damage, and then he’s got Experimental Shield in case you just want to replace the Orisa shield for a tiny bit of time or throw it at snipers.
Right now, the biggest counter, I’d say, is other Orisa comps. Orisa-Roadhog still beats it. Same with Wrecking Ball—you just can’t hit him. If you get him with a rock, it’s probably pretty lucky. Wrecking Ball kind of just bounces people around, and Sigma wants to stand in one spot, he doesn’t want to get thrown across the map.
The usages of Sigma’s kit are going to be what really makes or breaks him. If people find good ways to use his ult, similar to when Graviton Surge got a big optimization in [3-3] meta and people slowly figured out how to use it—if that happens, then he could be played in something similar to the comp that the Guangzhou Charge ran with Orisa-Zarya.
Min-Seo “Marve1” Hwang, Seoul Dynasty
After playing Sigma, I felt that he was definitely a hero with a high level of difficulty. When I first saw his ultimate, Gravitic Flux, I thought it was really special and strong, and I also felt that his main attack skill was really cool-looking. Also, his ammo is unlimited. As for synergy, the first hero I think of is Zarya, because since she got patched, she’s really strong, and it feels like her damage is stronger. Because Sigma’s shield health is 1,500, I think if he attacks from the side, it’ll be really hard to combat that [in the current meta], and I think he could counter the Orisa-Roadhog composition. He feels like a main tank to me.
Nathan “Frd” Goebbel, Atlanta Reign
I feel like they designed him to be a main tank, but I think he fits more off-tank-esque features. He does a lot of damage, surprisingly, for how short his range is, but his Hyperspheres do a lot of damage. He also has a pretty good survivability with his Kinetic Grasp, which is like Defense Matrix-slash-Deflect, but also gives him Doomfist-like shields at the same time. On top of that, his shield is flexible with how you can use it. The ability to move his shield—Sigma is sort of a mix of Orisa and Reinhardt, he can throw his shield forward and also use it on command, so for me, the shield is what’s going to make or break the hero.
It’s hard to tell who he’ll pair with right now, but I think in ranked people have been running a lot of Orisa-Sigma, which seems very strong. Sigma does a high amount of damage, so people are alternating that out for whatever off-tank they’re using. Her shield is very, very oppressive, and you add Sigma’s shield on top of that, plus his damage, and it’s a ridiculous shield-fest. He’s a very slow character and he floats—so maybe Rein, Lucio, some comp like that, could be a counter. Maybe Pharah, too.
As long as Orisa is as strong as she is right now, I don’t think the meta will change that much. I think pro play will be different than ranked, and I don’t know how viable competitively Orisa-Sigma will be, but if that is the case, then it won’t change that much because Orisa is still going to be in the lineup.
Matthew “Super” DeLisi, San Francisco Shock
When I first saw gameplay of Sigma, I thought he wasn’t going to be that good—his primary fire was going to be too slow, his shield was kind of a weird mechanic, and initially the cooldown for his Kinetic Grasp was really long. But they shorted the cooldown, and now that I’ve played with him a little bit, he’s actually stronger than I initially thought. He has a lot more utility; his Accretion is really annoying to deal with, especially in a 1v1, and his portable shield that he can bring closer to himself. He’s a hard hero to 1v1, but I do think he’s weak to anything that penetrates shields—Winston, Reinhardt—just because he can’t have a good time. Winston can just juggle him out, and Rein can up-down, up-down, with the shield. Overall, though, he’s in a pretty good spot.
The most fun part of his kit is his rock, Accretion, because I just think that’s a higher skill cap ability. I’ve seen clips already of people knocking Pharah and Mercy out of the sky; I did it myself. I throw rocks over walls and they come down a few seconds later and hit somebody—stuff like that is just more fun in the game.
It looks like Sigma’s strongest synergy is with Orisa and Zarya. Orisa, just because it’s so much shield that it’s hard to break. I think he pairs really well with Zarya; his shield by itself is 1,500 health, so that’s almost like a Rein shield. It puts up a pretty good frontline with Zarya, and his primary does AOE damage as well, so if she gets a big Graviton Surge, you throw your primary and your rock and do so much damage.
I think Sigma can fill both tank roles, it just kind of depends on what your other tank pair is. You could see him played a little bit in the playoffs if teams are willing to pick him up and experiment. Some people are either too scared to mess with what works, or people are willing to take the extra step and take the risk, so I think it just depends on the team.
Menghan “Ameng” Ding, Chengdu Hunters
My first impression was that Sigma does a lot of damage, and his skill cap is also very high. He’s different from all the other tanks in that you can always control his shield and move it around whenever you want. The most interesting part of playing him is that I can use him on the side to pressure the enemy backline and pick them off. He’s unique in that he can pair with Orisa in a double main tank formation, but he can also play with Zarya and be the main tank in that pairing. There are actually a lot of damage heroes who can counter him, though—Mei, Doomfist, Pharah can all break through his shield and he can’t absorb his damage. In the playoffs, I could see the meta shifting to Orisa-Sigma rather than Orisa-D.Va.
João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles, Los Angeles Gladiators
I was wondering whether he’d fit in as a main tank or an off tank. Now that he’s on live, I’m still wondering, because he’s a very unique hero. I’m not too sure exactly how he’s going to fit into the meta. I think he might be able to play similar to a D.Va role, but with D.Va she has the ability to contest high ground and follow a dive tank in, whereas Sigma is going to be used more to help out an Orisa to control the ground.
The best hero to play with Sigma is probably Orisa; with the double shields, its very hard for the other team to make it past both of your barriers. It feels like a very safe comp; it’s not a comp where you’re playing to get picks or get kills, but more so to survive and buy time. Something that might be good that might be a little riskier for Sigma is playing him with Wrecking Ball and two damage heroes who are flankers or divers, and you play similarly to triple-damage, where Sigma is your third [source of] damage.
The biggest counter for Sigma right now is Doomfist. Against Roadhog, you can block his hook with your Kinetic Grasp, but against Doomfist, you don’t have anything that can block his punch, and the punch goes through the barrier, too. Surprisingly enough, a close second would be Symmetra, especially against Orisa-Sigma, because she burns shields down really fast and she’ll always have infinite ammo.
The part of his kit that I like the most are the Hyperspheres he throws out. It’s like a mix between Genji and Junkrat. If I remember correctly, it has the same speed as the Genji Shurikens, and it bounces around like Junkrat mines. There are a lot of times where you can kill people behind corners.
I think there will definitely be a meta shift for the playoffs because there are a lot of changes coming in. Besides Sigma, Orisa’s barrier gets a one-second cooldown, there’s some Ashe changes where she reloads faster, Sombra gets changed slightly, and the Zarya and Symmetra changes allow them to do more damage. All of those changes combined might able to shift the meta slightly away.
Sung-Wook “Ria” Park, Hangzhou Spark
I really like Sigma. I think he could be the next Brigitte in terms of her impact. My favorite part of his kit are the Hyperspheres because they bounce around instead of going straight—it’s really interesting. His synergy with other heroes will be map-dependent, but on both offense and defense Orisa-Sigma should be really strong. It’s hard to determine what kind of role he’ll play yet, so both main tanks and off-tanks have to practice him a lot!
Alexandre “Spree” Vanhomwegen, Houston Outlaws
He seems to be a really good front-liner, thanks to his shield that you can move anywhere. He might be both main tank and off-tank, because his kit allows him to be a front-liner but he can also play on his own. His left-click attacks are strong but sometimes tricky to hit—they do a lot of burst which makes it easier to finish kills and satisfying to hit. Also, his Accretion ability is cool to use.
Since Orisa is still strong and Sigma might just add to the infinite shield-making, those two can just keep the frontline alive forever. The opposing Orisa-Roadhog can't even do combo hooks, with Sigma denying it by replacing his shield in front of it or just using his Kinetic Grasp ability because it blocks hooks too. Zarya could potentially go well with Sigma, but Zarya seems to be one of the weakest tanks right now.
I think the biggest counter to Sigma is Pharah, Doomfist, and Sombra. It's super hard for Sigma to deal with Pharah. If Sigma doesn't have his Accretion up, Doomfist can just go on him for free. Sombra's EMP is really strong against him because it destroys his barrier and her ability to get behind him and hack is really good too.
The play-in tournament kicks off on Friday, August 30, when the Charge take on the Hunters at 6 p.m. PT. Watch the 2019 Overwatch League playoffs live on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, and on Disney XD and the ESPN app.