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In previous articles we discussed the most popular hero choices in competitive shooter Overwatch and their relation to recent updates, popular meta strategies, and overall player preferences. We concluded that Soldier 76, Mercy, and Reinhardt were and likely will remain the most common choices in ranked gameplay, but as for why – well, we could only really guess.

RELATED: Old favorites fade and new heroes rise in latest Overwatch OmnicMeta report

At least, until now. According to an analysis released recently by data-driven Twitter account @ggDataspace, the relationship between the most popular heroes and their ultimates is a little more blurred than one would expect.

For those unfamiliar with Overwatch, there are currently 24 heroes available to play (and more likely on the way). Each hero fills one of four roles: Offense, Defense, Support, and Tank. After generating enough points, players will eventually unlock usage of their “Ultimate Ability” – a powerful move that can often turn the tide in a close match. Smart players will save theirs for the right moment because once an ultimate has been used, it’s gone, and the player will have to unlock it all over again.

The above analysis however suggests that, while some heroes are certainly more popular than others, the most common ultimate abilities are not directly related to the former.

Tracer, for example, has the not only the least downtime between time taken to charge her ultimate, but also the least amount of time holding it. For the most part this makes sense; Tracer’s a quick, active hero that likely generates points faster than others, and her ultimate is not ineffective when used on cooldown.

Similarly, Mercy will save her powerful ultimate (Resurrect) longer than other heroes in order to get the best possible use out of it. This usually involves waiting for her entire team to die so she can bring them all back to life at once, surprising her opponents and cutting short their thoughts of victory.

The hero that takes the longest to build their ultimate is, unsurprisingly, Lucio. Thanks to recent nerfs to his healing capabilities and buffs to his damage, speed, and health, Lucio is now more of a brawler than a healer and thus generates far less ultimate charge than in previous gameplay. This is also partly due to the fact that his speed boost awards no points, and as it’s the alternative (and more actively used) ability to healing, his ultimate will obviously build slower than other classes.

Check out the actual analysis from @ggDataspace for more information about Overwatch’s heroes and their respective abilities, or look at their previous data posts for information about similarly interesting topics – like pineapple’s role in a good pizza, for example.

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