Zenyatta has proven to be an extremely important hero in the current meta. As Ryujehong so eloquently puts it: “He’s a healer, and a dealer.”
When we rate Zenyatta players, we tend to prioritize the monk’s offensive output given the low skill floor associated with his (mostly) passive healing orbs. He’s really a support in name and ultimate only because his charged orbs can be a devastating attacking tool in the right hands, and first kill potential is very high with Zenyatta as a result. On the other hand, Zenyatta is a very easy target for backline harassers like Tracer because of his limited movement ability, so proper positioning is vital.
Transcendence is perhaps the most important ability in Zen’s kit given it’s potential to offset so many non-burst ultimates like Dragonblade, Tactical Visor, Death Blossom, etc. Knowing when (and when not) to use Transcendence is a critical skill and can be the determining factor in the outcome of a team fight.
After two weeks, I was very interested in taking a deep-dive into everything Zenyatta and finding out if the metrics would validate some of the early praise that is being showered on players like JJoNaK and Shaz. It’s obviously worth noting that statistics aren’t everything. These statistics and rankings are in no way the bottom line regarding who the best Zenyatta in Overwatch League is. But don’t sleep on them, either — the eye test is terrific, but one can only track so much action from a single-player perspective. Knowing how to balance stats and actual gameplay is vital in formulating sound conclusions about a player’s/team’s performance.
The following statistics are all pulled from Winston’s Lab. Note that only players with at least 60 minutes of play time on Zenyatta are being considered. Clicking on this link will actually take you to the specific player comparison data that I created using my own pre-set filters. Otherwise, you can find the relevant data sets below:
12. Freefeel | Shanghai Dragons
While Freefeel’s position on this list is largely the result of the team he plays for, there are also plenty of statistics independent of his teammates that warrant the ranking. For starters, Freefeel’s Percentage of Team Kills (“PTK”) is 7.5% – by far the lowest of any Zenyatta player. Among the 12 qualifying players, Freefeel ranks 11th in First Kill percentage (“FK”) and 9th in First Death percentage (“FD”). His Ult Effectiveness (“FUU Win – FWin”) is another weak point: Freefeel ranks 11th in this statistic, which measures the difference between fights Shanghai has won in which Transcendence was used and fights that Shanghai won without Freefeel’s ultimate.
11. Harryhook | Dallas Fuel
Because of the frequent roster swaps coming from Dallas, Harry actually has quite a bit less total time on Zenyatta than the rest of the players here. That said, the Fuel are winning only 35% of team fights involving Harry’s Zen, and just 43.48% of fights in which he casts Transcendence. He’s also picked off first in 15% of all team fights, which is more than any other player in the league.
10. Zuppeh | Florida Mayhem
Zuppeh ranks worst in the league in Deaths/10 minutes and First Kill percentage while also coming in second-to-last in Kills/10 minutes and First Death percentage. So not only is Zuppeh failing to provide a boon offensively, but other teams are taking him out of the fight so early on that he usually isn’t available to provide much healing to his teammates. Believe it or not, Zuppeh has actually been very good at timing his Transcendence: Florida is winning 62% of team fights when Zuppeh uses his ult, compared to just 44% when he doesn’t. The 18-net difference is best in the league by quite a large margin.
9. Sleepy | San Francisco Shock
Sleepy is very much a boom or bust Zenyatta player. He takes quite a few risks trying to get early picks, but can be baited out of position very easily putting him at risk to be picked early and often. Sleepy is 4th in the league in First Kill percentage but comes in at 10th in First Death percentage. Sleepy has also triggered his ultimate outside of team fights 11.11% of the time – a good indicator that he hasn’t been comfortable under backline pressure.
8. Boombox | Philadelphia Fusion
Boombox was always regarded as one of the best Zenyattas at scoring early first-kills in fights, but he hasn’t been finding them so far. In fact, he has been fairly ineffective from an offensive perspective in general, recording just 9.3% percent of Philly’s kills (10th overall) and 3.41 Kills/10 minutes (9th overall). He’s also charging more ultimates per 10 minutes than anyone else in the league, but he’s near the middle of the pack when it comes to Ultimate Efficiency. Considering that Boombox almost never uses Transcendence in situations when his team has an ultimate advantage (evidenced by his 0.09 UAWU), it might benefit both himself and the Fusion if he’d start doing so.
7. Rawkus | Houston Outlaws
Rawkus comes in at 7th on the list, which is fair considering he doesn’t really standout in any one area. No matter how you prioritize the data, he always seems to be near the middle of each category. And while Rawkus doesn’t contribute to a whole lot of kills (11th in Kills/10 minutes), Houston is still winning nearly 60% of team fights involving Rawkus on Zen, good for 3rd in the league. It’s also worth pointing out that Rawkus is holding on to his ultimates for a looooong time, longer than any other Zen player. On average, he’s actually holding on to Transcendence 15 seconds longer than Ryujehong – the next closest player.
6. Unkoe | Los Angeles Valiant
Unkoe and Rawkus are basically neck-and-neck from a statistical perspective. What has really set Unkoe’s Zen apart from most others so far has been his Ultimate management. Unkoe has cast Transcendence in 57 team fights and the Valiant have won 61.40% of them. Otherwise, like Rawkus, Unkoe tends to fall within the middle of most statistical categories.
5. Neko | Boston Uprising
The biggest issue with Neko’s Zenyatta play has been how wasteful he has been with his ultimate usage. He has been pressured into using Transcendence outside of actual team fights 18% of the time. That means he is wasting 1 in every 5 ultimates, whereas someone like Shaz has only used Transcendence outside of team fights 1.89% of the time. To make matters slightly worse, Neko has been the 2nd slowest charging his first Transcendence – a full 13 seconds behind Shaz. Otherwise, he has been quite effective as a damage-dealer without really sacrificing his survivability and carries the league’s 3rd best Kills-Deaths/10. Neko also holds the 2nd best Percentage of Team Kills coming in just behind JJonak.
4. Shaz | Los Angeles Gladiators
Shaz and BigGoose have teamed up to become one of the most effective support duos over the first two weeks. Shaz has proven to be a very disciplined player in both his positioning and ultimate use. He ranks 1st in the league in Ultimate Usage Outside of Fights, 3rd in Deaths/10 minutes, and 3rd in First Death percentage. Shaz has also charged up his first Transcendence of each map faster than any other player (93 seconds) and clocks in at 3rd in terms of average ultimate charge time (96 seconds).
3. Ryujehong | Seoul Dynasty
Coming in at the third spot is everyone’s favorite support Ryujehong, which is especially impressive given the fact that Zenyatta isn’t even his best support hero. Jehong is consistently ranked near the top of most statistical categories, coming in at 2nd in Team Fight Win%, 4th in Percentage of Team Kills, 2nd in Time to Charge Ult, 2nd in First Death percentage, and is one of only 3 players to not have a negative K/D on the hero.
2. JJoNaK | New York Excelsior
I think most would agree that JJonak was worth the wait. Jonak leads the league securing 14.6% of his team’s kills on Zenyatta. The only real blemish to his record throughout an otherwise impressive first two weeks has been Jonak’s tendency to get picked early. And while he ranks 8th in First Death percentage amongst Zenyatta players, Jonak conversely comes in at 3rd in First Kill percentage making him the ultimate boom/bust Zenyatta player early in team fights. Jonak also has a 12.28 Ultimate Efficiency, which is good for 4th in the league. And while that may not seem like anything special, consider that Bdosin and Ryujehong both rank in the bottom third of the league in the category, most likely because their teams win such a high percentage of team fights to begin with. But Jonak has been so good timing his Transcendence that New York is winning a substantially higher percentage of those team fights than the other Korean teams. Like Ryujehong and Bdosin, Jonak has also managed to avoid a negative K/D with Zenyatta.
1. Bdosin | London Spitfire
The Spitfire support has not just been the best Zenyatta player throughout the first two weeks – he’s also been one of the league’s best overall players. Bdosin has the highest Fight Win Percentage of any Zenyatta player, with London winning exactly 2/3 of all team fights in which he featured. He also ranks 3rd in Percentage of Team’s Kills and first in Kills/10 minutes. And because he also holds the top rank in Deaths/10 minutes, Bdosin is the only qualifying Zenyatta player with a positive Kill-Death/10 ratio. But check out this stat: He has scored the first kill in 11.46% of team fights – best in the league. For such an attack-minded Zenyatta player, you would in turn expect Bdosin to occasionally get caught out of position hunting for a kill. And yet he has only been picked off first in 5.21% of team fights making him best in both categories! While it’s not shown on the statistic sheet, it’s also worth noting that Bdosin has landed 23 kills onto Tracers, which is still 8 more than the next closest player despite the fact that Bdosin’s total time on Zenyatta comes in at 5th overall.