IBM and Overwatch League

Hero Rankings are Live on Overwatch League

By Corey Shelton
June 16, 2021

The fans have spoken

Power Rankings with IBM Watson, the first objective AI ranking solution in professional esports, has been the talk of the 2021 Overwatch League. The algorithm has been running all season, analyzing each map and match, and has provided analysts and fans with a clearer picture of how players and teams are performing. Want to know which players are the ones to watch and which teams stand the best chance at winning the grand prize? It’s all there in the Power Rankings with Watson. If you’re not clear on what Power Ranking with Watson is and how IBM is bringing AI-based solutions and insights to the Overwatch League, this will get you up to speed.

Ever since the launch of Power Rankings with Watson, Overwatch League fans have been united in asking for more ways to analyze match data. Specifically, they’re asking for rankings sorted by hero. Fans want to know, objectively, who the best Reaper is (my money is on the Dallas Fuel’s Dong-Ha “Doha” Kim), which Reinhardt player gets the most value out of their abilities, and which Mercy player has the best odds of keeping their team alive and fighting. Well, I’m excited to announce that hero rankings are now integrated into Power Rankings with Watson.

What the rankings mean

Hero rankings are a brand-new category within the Overwatch League’s Power Rankings with Watson. They will provide a data-driven weekly ranking of the top players for all 32 heroes in the Overwatch League. Now fans will have even more context to enhance their understanding of the game, and both fans and analysts will have more data to drive their discussions – in other words, they’ll be able to power their trash talk with facts!

How the rankings work

Hero rankings use the same AI technology as the other Power Rankings categories, correlating 360+ data points, assigning a weight to each, and determining how each factor tips the balance toward a loss or a win. The hero ranking scores associated with each hero a player uses gets factored into that player's role ranking score, which then factors into the overall player ranking. In browsing the 32 playable heroes, you'll find that your favorite players will have rankings across multiple heroes, dominating in some and not so much in others. Those scores are based on:

1) The total time played on that hero
2) The impact that player/hero combination has on the outcome of the match, as observed by the Power Rankings with Watson algorithm

Sneak peek

Hero rankings will be available as a new tab within the Power Rankings with Watson experience on You will be able to select your favorite hero to see which players are dominating in the league.

New Hero rankings will be produced every week and published on both and throughout the season. I can’t wait to see what the fandom does with this new information. Until then, GLHF.

Corey Shelton
Digital Strategist