Celebrating the Ladies of Overwatch

What is Overwatch?

Overwatch is a vibrant team-based shooter set on a near-future earth. It features colorful maps, tactical gameplay, unique mechanics, and a roster of dozens of characters for players to experiment with. 

Overwatch launched in 2016 and has continued to expand its roster ever since. In 2019, we spotlighted some of the ladies in the Average Gamer community who are fans of the game. This time, I wanted to feature the in-game ladies who make the game so special!

Its cast of heroes is among the most diverse in the industry, with an emphasis on representation.

Here’s a summary of the ladies of Overwatch, including some brief commentary about their lore, an explanation of their abilities, and a recommendation of what type of gamers would enjoy playing them.

overwatch ana

Ana

Class: Support

Backstory: She is one of the founding members of Overwatch and is the mother of Pharah. Both of them have a tattoo of the Eye of Horus, which is a symbol of protection. She used to be a deadly sniper and has a cybernetic eye that is covered by an eye patch. 

Kit: Her primary weapon is a sniper rifle that both heals her teammates and deals damage to enemies. Likewise, her grenade can do both damage and heals, including healing herself. Ana’s ultimate ability heals, gives a damage buff, and a damage reduction, creating a terrifying ally on the battlefield!

Playstyle she is good for: Gamers who like sniping but want to be in a support role. Ana requires mechanical precision, excellent positioning, and careful use of her cooldowns. Try Ana if you want a high-skill ceiling hero.

ashe dps hero

Ashe 

Class: Damage

Backstory: Ashe is the leader of the Deadlock Gang. While she is a criminal mastermind, she is the daughter of socialites, giving her a rather complex nature. Her parents largely left the family butler – B.O.B. – to raise her, and it’s no surprise that the omnic found a way into Ashe’s Overwatch gameplay.

Kit: Ashe’s Viper Rifle can be used in both hip-fire mode and while aiming down sight. The latter is used for slower, higher-damage shots, while the hip-fire bullets fire faster and deal less damage. She uses a Coach Gun for movement around the map and it is an effective tool for displacing enemies. Ashe gets a ton of AOE value from her Dynamite explosive, which allows her to build up ultimate charge quickly. When her ult is ready, she can send out B.O.B. to capture objectives or dish out damage to the opposing team.

Playstyle she is good for: Ashe excels at picking off squishy characters from mid-range and applying pressure with her explosives. She pairs well with a Mercy pocket and is great for people who want to snipe but may not have perfect accuracy. Her kit is fairly straightforward and you’ll want to focus on landing critical hits on enemies.

overwatch brig

Brigitte

Class: Support

Backstory: Brigitte – Brig for short – is Torbjorn’s daughter and inherited his stubbornness. She grew up sparring with Reinhardt, who later became her godfather. Growing up, Brig spent a lot of time in Torb’s workshop and grew interested in armor fabrication. After Rein was forced into retirement, Brig joined him on his journey for justice and became his squire.

Kit: Brig heals her team passively by dealing damage with her Rocket Flail, either through the standard melee attack or by using the long-range Whip Shot ability. She can throw Repair Packs to her team to provide healing over time, which is great for enabling her DPS to be more aggressive. Her Barrier Shield provides direct cover from incoming projectiles and can be bashed into enemies to stun them. Lastly, Brig’s Rally ultimate grants armor to her team and gives a movement speed buff.

Playstyle she is good for: While she isn’t as tanky as she first was at launch, Brig remains a front-line hero who plays alongside her tanks, primarily. There are times when she will stay in the back-lines to protect the other support. However, she needs to find openings to deal damage in order to trigger her passive heals. Brig is great for players who don’t want to have to focus as much on mechanical ability and are able to keep track of everything happening on the battlefield.

d. va feature image

D. Va

Class: Tank

Backstory: Interestingly, D. Va used to be a professional gamer! Most notably, she grew up playing StarCraft and became very competitive at a young age. She is also a skilled mech pilot and a competent mechanic. D. Va’s home, MEKA, was attacked by Gwishin omnics, which led to D. Va’s recruitment into the militaristic MEKA unit.

Kit: D. Va spends most of her team in a giant mech suit, which is equipped with Fusion Cannons and Micro Missiles to deal damage to enemies. She can fly for short bursts of time using the mech’s boosters and is able to absorb projectile damage with the Defense Matrix. Her ultimate ability turns the mech into a bomb, and D. Va is able to call back the mech after building ult charge while in ‘pilot mode’. Often referred to as “baby D. Va”, pilot mode makes her a foot soldier, armed only with a Light Gun.

Playstyle she is good for: People who enjoy high mobility heroes that can fight at close-range. 

echo overwatch lady

Echo

Class: Damage

Backstory: Echo is an evolutionary robot who was programmed by Doctor Mina Liao, her creator. Liao was supposed to create multiple layers of protections and fail safes to keep Echo under control. Instead, she programmed general artificial intelligence which allowed Echo to learn through observation. Tragically, Liao was killed in an attack and Echo’s development was shut down, only to have the robot taken into possession by the US government.

Kit: Echo’s primary fire is a projectile that fires 3 shots at once in a triangle pattern. She can also launch a volley of Sticky Bombs at enemies and has a Focusing Beam to deal high damage on targets that are low on health. Echo can use Flight to fly in a given direction, then utilize her passive, Glide, to slowly descend back to the ground. Her ultimate ability allows her to Duplicate any enemy hero and make full use of their kit with accelerated ultimate charge.

Playstyle she is good for: Echo is a challenging hero to play given her combination of projectile and hitscan abilities. She excels at dealing damage from off-angles and getting quick picks on unsuspecting enemies. Try her out if you prefer to fight from the skies and don’t mind putting in the time to learn projectile physics.

mei

Mei

Class: Damage

Backstory: Mei is a climatologist who strives to preserve the environment. She conducted research at Watchpoint: Antarctica, where a polar storm cut off the facility from the outside world. The researchers at the base entered a cryo state, but, after nine years, all the pods failed except for Mei’s. Mei eventually made it out of Antartica, linked up with Winston, and continued her research on the devastating climate control issue.

Kit: Mei’s Endothermic Blaster can either be used to freeze enemies at close-range or fire projectile icicles at targets further away. She can heal herself using the Cyop-Freeze ability and is able to construct an obstructive Ice Wall at will. Her ultimate, Blizzard, deals damage to all enemies caught in its circle and will even freeze opponents trapped in its range for too long.

Playstyle she is good for: Mei has great survivability, decent mobility via the Ice Wall, and is effective at a variety of ranges. She typically won’t lead the team in damage or kills, but she is one of the best DPS characters for supporting her team. Use Mei to increase your team’s utility and to deal with enemy Dive characters.

overwatch mercy

Mercy

Class: Support

Backstory: Mercy is a world-renowned doctor who grew up during the Omnic Crisis. Both of her parents were killed in an airstrike, and she decided to do her part to advocate for peace. Mercy became the Head of Surgery at a Swiss hospital and was recruited by Overwatch after impressing people with her research on nanobiotic healing. 

Kit: Mercy’s Caduceus Staff allows her to both heal her friends as well as boost their damage output. She has passive healing after not taking damage for a short period of time. For damage, Mercy wields a Blaster as her firearm. Her kit revolves around high mobility to evade incoming damage and she is the only hero who can revive a fallen teammate.

Playstyle she is good for: Gamers who enjoy a pure support role and prefer to keep their team alive vs outputting damage.

moira from overwatch wiki

Moira

Class: Support

Backstory: Moira excels in genetic engineering and it has been rumored that her right hand was scarred by experimentation. The Overwatch organization condemned her research and she was recruited by Blackwatch to advise on genetics. She later was supported in her research efforts by Doomfist and continued to work on human evolution as part of Talon.

Kit: Moira both gives and takes life using her hands. Biotic Grasp can apply AoE healing to her team or suck the health from enemies. Similarly, her Biotic Orb can be set to heal friendly or damage foes depending on the mode. Moira has an escape tool in her Fade ability, which makes her immune to damage and transports her over a distance. Her ultimate ability, Coalescence, follows the same theme as the rest of her kit, enabling Moira to deal damage and heal at the same time.

Playstyle she is good for: People who like being independent and can focus on resource management, given her limited pool of healing.

orisa feature image

Orisa

Class: Tank

Backstory: Orisa is an omnic that was created by Efi Oladele. Her creator programmed her to right wrongs and serve as a hero. Orisa is one of many omnics who had been damaged while defending Numbani. Efi purchased the chassis and fixed it up in her workshop. Over the course of several training activities and day-to-day tasks in the real world, Efi modified Orisa’s coding accordingly. 

Kit: Orisa uses a Fusion Driver projectile weapon to deal sustained damage. Although this slows her movement speed while firing, it has the potential to dish out a steady stream of bullets at long range. Orisa can pull enemies in a direction using her Halt ability and is able to Fortify to reduce incoming damage for 4 seconds. She fires a Protective Barrier shield to protect her team and can amplify their damage output by 50% using her Supercharger ultimate.

Playstyle she is good for: People who like playing behind a shield but want the freedom to frequently reposition themselves to make space for their team. Also great for getting environmental kills as you Halt enemies off the map!

overwatch pharah

Pharah

Class: Damage

Backstory: Pharah is Ana’s daughter and she grew up surrounded by Overwatch members. Unfortunately, Ana didn’t want her daughter to be part of the organization. This created an emotional distance between the two and put a strain on the relationship. Pharah joined the Egyptian Army and rose through the ranks, but never got the chance to join Overwatch before it had been disbanded. 

Kit: Pharah prefers to fight from the skies using her Hover Jets. Her Rocket Launcher weapon fires slow-moving projectile missiles which deal splash damage. She can knock enemies in a direction using her Concussive Blast and deals a crazy amount of burst damage with her Barrage ultimate.

Playstyle she is good for: People who like dealing damage from afar and are good with projectile weapons.

sombra overwatch lady

Sombra

Class: Damage

Backstory: Sombra is notorious for computer hacking and cryptography. She became an orphan after the Omnic Crisis and got by given her hacking ability. As she grew older, she performed hacks against the government, corporations, and other famous people. In her dealings, she uncovered a global conspiracy, but Sombra was also identified in her hacking attempts. She deleted all traces of her identity and went into hiding before later joining the Talon organization.

Kit: Sombra can Hack enemies, health packs, turrets, teleporters, and several enemy ultimate abilities. She can make herself invisible using Stealth and can teleport around the map using a Translocator. Sombra’s Machine Pistol is a fast-firing SMG that works great at close range and her passive allows her to see low-health enemies through walls. Her EMP ultimate destroys enemy barriers and hacks any opponents caught in the blast.

Playstyle she is good for: Gamers who like being sneaky and are excited by the prospect of disrupting the enemy back lines.

symmetra

Symmetra

Class: Damage

Backstory: Symmetra manipulates light via Kathak dance movements. She is on the autism spectrum and sets routines to keep order in her life. Sym grew up in poverty and was later placed in the care of Vishkar’s Architech Academy to grow her light-bending skills. Vishkar sent her around the world to help influence other countries. 

Kit: Symmetra’s Photon Projector can be used to fire a short-range beam or shoot projectile balls at longer ranges. She can place Sentry Turrets around the map to deal damage to enemies. Additionally, she is able to quickly reposition her team using a Teleporter. Her ultimate ability creates a massive energy barrier that blocks most enemy attacks from going through. Some projectiles like Rein’s Fire Strike and Moira’s orb can still pass through the barrier.

Playstyle she is good for: Sym is great for people who want to lock down an area and like having the flexibility to do damage at all ranges.

tracer from overwatch wiki

Tracer

Class: Damage

Backstory: She’s a time-jumper from London who has traveled the world. Tracer loved to party when she was younger and joined the Royal Air Force as a test pilot when she was of age. She was presumed dead after her prototype fighter jet malfunctioned and disappeared. She reappeared months later but her molecules had been desynchronized from the flow of time. Winston eventually created a device to keep her in the present and she continued to contribute to Overwatch’s efforts until it disbanded.

Kit: Tracer has rapid-fire Pulse Pistols which deal great burst damage. She’s is able to Blink through horizontal space to quickly reposition herself. She can reverse time using her Recall ability, which also restores whatever health and ammo she had as of 3 seconds ago. She builds ultimate charge quickly and is then able to throw out a Pulse Bomb which explodes in a small radius.

Playstyle she is good for: People who like to go fast, and also like to be a menace (similar to Sombra)!

widowmaker feature image

Widowmaker

Class: Damage

Backstory: Widowmaker was actually a very good ballet dancer in Paris who was married to an Overwatch agent. Talon kidnapped her, reconditioned her neural network, returned her back to her life, and she eventually killed her husband in his sleep. Following the kill, she returned to Talon where she trained in covert arts and had her heart rate drastically reduced. She became one of the deadliest assassins at Talon and an accomplished sniper.

Kit: Widow’s sniper rifle, Widow’s Kiss, is a htiscan weapon that relies on precision to quickly eliminate targets. It deals high burst damage at range and can be used in fully-automatic mode when hip-firing. She can quickly reposition by throwing out a Grappling Hook and is able to zone off areas of the map with strategically placed Venom Mines. Widowmaker’s ultimate ability allows her and her entire team to see enemies through walls, while making their health bars visible.

Playstyle she is good for: Anyone who likes sniping and has both the patience and mechanical skill for it!

Zarya

Class: Tank

Backstory: Zarya is one of the strongest women in the world and served as a soldier in the Russian Defense Forces. Growing up, her region was devastated by the Omnic Crisis and she vowed to get strong enough to help her people recover. She battled conflict in her region for years before finally reuniting with her family. She eventually joined Overwatch and continues to protect the ones she loves.

Kit: Zarya’s Particle Cannon can fire a short-range, hitscan beam or lob projectile volleys at her opponents. Her kit features a Particle Barrier to block incoming damage for herself. She also has a Projected Barrier to protect teammates. These ‘bubbles’ build up Energy depending on how much damage they absorb, which increases the overall power of her Particle Cannon. Zarya’s Graviton Surge ultimate ability sucks enemies into a ball and traps them for a few seconds.

Playstyle she is good for: People who want to be aggressive on the frontlines and are good with managing the timing of cooldowns.

What to Look for in Overwatch 2

While there is no official release date for Overwatch 2, it is expected that a new lady will join the roster! Sojourn is a member of Overwatch who received cybernetic brain upgrades. She has battled against Talon and worked closely with Tracer. Hopefully, we will have more details about this upcoming hero as we approach the Overwatch 2 beta test!

Who is your favorite Lady of Overwatch? What do you think Sojourn’s kit will look like? Join the conversation in the comments section!

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