News > OverwatchAug 11, 2017 6:00 pm CT

Overwatch hero playtime shows interesting stat lists

In a thread on the Overwatch forums, a couple players posted about team comps and how there always seem to be a Hanzo and Widowmaker in every match. These two heroes have a bit of a reputation for being easy picks for unskilled players — Hanzo’s reputation is so great that it was the inspiration for starting a church in his name. Granted, a lot of stuff like this is usually confirmation bias, and the thread was attributing game losses to the mere presence of this dastardly duo.

Jeff Kaplan stopped by and decided to humor them, posting the week’s top hero playtime in Quick Play and then later the same for Competitive Play. The data is fun to look at but doesn’t tell us much besides a “Huh, that’s interesting.” There are a lot of factors that change the data as well, such as what platform the game is being played on, the skill rating of the players, which game mode, and how long the actual playtime is — hero playtime also varies wildly between tiers.

Originally Posted by Jeff Kaplan (Official Post)
Stack rankings are really misleading to look at if you’re not careful. The stat here is “hero playtime” and literally one hero could have had one more second of playtime over another hero. That doesn’t make someone better or worse, more OP etc. Personally, I usually look at dramatic outliers (I didn’t give you guys all the info you’d need to do that here). Genji in QP and Mercy in Competitive were the only ones that I would consider “dramatic” — and even that is a subjective feeling. I don’t really think there is an issue with Genji in QP or Mercy in Comp even though they are outliers. But that’s just my opinion.

{PB} The lists aren’t terribly surprising when you look at them. DPS heroes dominate in Quick Play, while tanks are at the bottom. Tanking and healing is often a thankless job, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find people to play them in such an informal mode like Quick Play. Tanks are heavily reliant of the group working as a team, so they’ll be less played in modes where you can’t rely on your teammates as much. In Competitive Play, where working as a team trumps all, you see a lot more focus on healing, à la Mercy — especially thanks to her ultimate, which can be quite strong.

Stat lists themselves aren’t really accurate, however, and what Jeff does is look at “dramatic outliers,” which he specifically notes he didn’t give enough information for readers to do with this list. He points out that the lists only show the order in raw playtime, and one hero could be above another by a mere second more of play.

Of the two lists, only Genji in Quick Play and Mercy in Competitive Play even stand out as dramatic enough outliers, and he doesn’t see it as a problematic issue. Another example is Sombra who shows up at the bottom of both lists, but is actually played quite a bit by pros in the World Cup. The information is fun to look at but, like most stats, you need to take it with a grain of salt unless you have all the information at your disposal.

Check out the full lists below:

Originally Posted by Jeff Kaplan (Official Post)

Quick Play Hero Playtime from 8/2 – 8/9

Genji (by a long shot)
Doomfist
Hanzo
McCree
Soldier: 76
Mercy
Widowmaker
Junkrat
D.Va
Pharah
Tracer
Ana
Reaper
Lucio
Zenyatta
Torbjorn
Winston
Mei
Symmetra
Bastion
Sombra
Reinhardt
Zarya
Roadhog
Orisa

Overall, the playtime looks pretty smooth from one hero to the next with Genji being the only dramatic outlier. People really like to play Genji.

Originally Posted by Jeff Kaplan (Official Post)

Competitive Play Hero Playtime from 8/2-8/9:

Mercy (by a HUGE long shot)
D.Va
Lucio
Genji
Soldier: 76
Winston
Ana
Zarya
Reinhardt
McCree
Zenyatta
Reaper
Doomfist
Pharah
Tracer
Hanzo
Junkrat
Mei
Symmetra
Widowmaker
Torbjorn
Roadhog
Orisa
Bastion
Sombra

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