​Upon release, many Overwatch fans were underwhelmed by Sombra. After many months of Blizzard dropping hints and rising anticipation, players were shocked to discover she just wasn't very good.


Her Hack and EMP abilities were regarded as phenomenal crowd control and de-buff devices, but Sombra's Hack was initially only available every 12 seconds. Blizzard quickly realized this was an issue and dropped it to eight, and allowed her to use Translocater more often as well.

Even that didn't bring Sombra into the meta. It wasn't until dive composition was realized as the dominant competitive meta that the hacker began finding her way into matches. Starting, of course, in OGN Apex Season 3.


Asian teams, especially Korean ones, are well-known for their diversity in hero pool. They rarely ignore the meta outright, but they're known to play it risky, making an off-meta pick or two. This is exactly how Sombra began rising in pick rate. Her true potential is no more evident than on ​Assault maps, particularly on Defense.

Dive comp exists mostly unchecked now, with Sombra often being a team's best bet of countering a dive. Most dive heroes rely on their abilities for flanking, escaping, and executing evasive maneuvers. Winston, D.Va, Genji and Tracer are all totally shut down by a Hack or well-placed EMP.


With ​Sombra's ultimate the fastest-charging in the game, a good player can have their EMP ready in time for every team fight. The power of that cannot be overstated, and ​statistics show her ​rising in usage on the esports scene.

​Game Director Jeff Kaplan recently stated that the best-case scenario for meta change is due to player innovation. There is perhaps no better example of this than Overwatch's pros disregarding Sombra's categorization as an offense hero, using her primarily on defense and even forgoing a second healer in exchange for her utility and ability to provide fast-spawning health packs.


Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment