Overwatch 2 was released on October 4, 2022 as the next installment of the beloved esport Overwatch. The core gameplay has not changed all that much, but the addition of multiple new characters, maps, and a brand new game mode has brought many new players into the series. Blizzard added a new ‘push’ game mode in which a singular robot is pushed towards the enemy spawn whenever your team has control of the robot. In essence, it is like a game of king of the hill except the closer to winning you get the harder it becomes. If after ten minutes neither team has made it all the way, then whichever team pushed farther comes out victorious. This also added a couple of new maps to compensate for the game mode, along with others for the classic game modes.
Outside of those additions, Blizzard added a new character for each role: Junker Queen for Tank, Sojourn for Damage, and Kiriko for Support. Within this article, I’ll explain each of the new characters abilities, various playstyles, and where they fit within the meta at the current moment. Without further ado, let’s explore the new characters within Overwatch 2!
Junker Queen is the newest tank (until Ramattra!) added to the Overwatch roster and, although she is slightly underwhelming in comparison to the two other heroes added, she certainly has her strengths. Her primary fire is a medium range shotgun that can deal a surprising amount of damage if you hit your shots. Her secondary fire throws out an ax that she can pull back to herself, pulling in any enemies struck along the way. This also applies 15 damage worth of wounds over three seconds. By the way, any of her abilities that apply wounds also provide Junker Queen with healing.
In terms of abilities, JQ has a commanding shout that heals teammates in her immediate area as well as herself. On top of that, it provides a 30% movement speed buff to herself and teammates. Couple this with a Lucio speed boost and you can dive into their back line with ease. Her other ability couples well with the speed boost and her throwing ax as it is a melee ax swing that does a good amount of damage and applies 40 damage worth of wounds. This gives her some one shot potential similar to Roadhog if she hits her throwing ax on a relatively squishy target.
Finally, Junker Queen’s ultimate allows her to charge in a straight line, applying massive wounds to anybody hit and providing her with a ton of healing. On top of that, any enemy struck by the ultimate cannot be healed for five seconds, arguably the strongest aspect of the ultimate. Overall, her ultimate works great as an engaging tool for teamfights but is generally underpowered in comparison to the other tank ultimates in the current roster.
As with most tanks, Junker Queen lives in the front of the teamfight. She has a brawl-heavy playstyle that works well with DPS that can follow up on her ultimate/throwing ax. Her health pool is relatively small so she requires good follow up with her team and active support. In general, Junker Queen is relatively high skillcapped compared to most tanks and her usefulness relies on her ability to get picks. She is not a simple bullet-sponge like some other tanks that can just eat damage and hope that the DPS are able to dish out enough damage.
At the moment, Junker Queen has a pretty low pick rate in the competitive scene. While I think her kit is perfectly fine for dive/pick style team compositions, her numbers are just a bit under-tuned. Mainly, her total health pool is super weak compared to other tanks. This is made even worse by there only being a singular tank in Overwatch 2. Her healing does compensate for this a bit, but not as much as it should. This can be made even worse if the enemy team is running Ana and she hits her anti-heal. Overall, I’d expect Junker Queen to be seeing a buff in the next few patches if they want their newest tank to be seeing the spotlight in competitive play.
Sojourn is the newly added damage character to Overwatch. In terms of abilities, Sojourn has a rifle that has two different firing modes. With her primary fire, she rapidly shoots out some slightly inaccurate bullets that work to charge up her alternate fire. Once at 100 charge, her alternate fire is a single click railgun that will one shot a large amount of characters in the game if it is a headshot. In other terms of damage, her second ability is a ball of energy that can be shot out to do area of effect damage.
In terms of mobility, Sojourn’s slide is one of the most powerful in the game. Sojourn can powerslide a considerable distance and follow it up with a rocket jump to reach high ground. Combine that with a short cooldown and a relatively small hitbox and you get a rather slippery character.
Sojourn’s ultimate Overclock is a rather simple but powerful ability. Her railgun (which is usually charged with her primary fire) will charge on its own extremely fast for a period of time. This allows her to get many rails off within a couple of seconds. Her secondary fire is by far her most powerful asset and Overclock allows her to get a heap of them off in a short period of time!
Sojourn’s playstyle is somewhat of a mix between a Junkrat spam and a Widow’s precision. There is a lot of spam involved in her primary fire (and some precision) and once her railgun is charged it turns into a Widow left click. Her mobility does allow her to hit some nasty flanks but typically you’ll find a Sojourn in the back of a fight dishing out damage.
Sojourn is widely agreed upon to be one of the strongest characters in the game at release. Due to this, there’s not really a team composition she does not fit into. Her mobility allows her to follow up on dive teams and her one shot/damage sphere abilities makes her fit into zone defense style teams with heavy shields. Considering how many top 500 players in the DPS category have Sojourn as their most played character, I’d expect a nerf to be hitting relatively soon!
Kiriko is the newest support in Overwatch and has seen a ton of play at launch. Her primary fire heals whoever she is aiming at for a notable amount. Her secondary fire launches a singular shuriken similar to Genji that does MASSIVE damage if you hit a headshot. So much so that many players end up playing her as a flanking support.
To help that flanking playstyle, her primary ability is a teleport that allows her to transport through walls to an ally teammate within a certain range. This lets her flank without having too much risk of dying. To aid that even further, her secondary ability throws a flask at the ground similar to that of Ana’s ability. Instead of healing, it provides a cleanse to teammates and gives them brief invulnerability. This ability is extremely powerful as it can single handedly save a team from high impact ultimates.
Her ultimate is perhaps the best part of her kit. Kitsune Rush grants everyone in the immediate area increased reload speed, movement speed, fire rate, and ability cooldown. This works extremely well with heroes who already have a high fire rate and allows them to absolutely melt the enemy team!
Kiriko’s playstyle, for the most part, is much like many other supports. Her healing can keep up with the majority of supports in terms of healing output making a back-line healbot playstyle rather suiting for her.
However, more skilled Kiriko players will be able to utilize her massive headshot damage in combination with her teleport to play a more of a flanking role. This usually results in Kiriko going for a pick at the beginning of a fight until the enemy team starts to focus on her. Then she’ll teleport to the back of her team and start to heal while popping shots from the back. If you manage to sneak up on an enemy support or DPS that does not see you, you’ll often be able to get a two shot elimination before they can even react!
Currently, Kiriko’s fit in the meta is on just about any team. I would argue that she is currently the strongest support in the game which fits the running theme of Blizzard releasing too strong of characters that end up getting nerfed later on. Mainly, Kiriko fits well because of her Suzu (cleanse) being a direct counter to many popular heroes in the game. Roadhog hook? Suzu. Ana anti? Suzu. Orissa ult? Suzu? And so on. Couple that with an extremely strong ultimate and you have a near must pick in competitive matches!
Overall, the new characters in Overwatch have made the game more diverse and replayable. Although some may be a bit over tuned at the moment, they will certainly help the game in the long run. Admittedly, I was hoping for a bit more diversity of new characters at launch but at the very least, the three that were added have solid kits with notable niches that they fulfill!
Heading image courtesy of ign.com