This article is part of our Changes to the Meta series.
Support Talk is eGN's new Overwatch series where we pick the brains of the best players in the scene to get an inside look at certain heroes and the meta as a whole.
Richard “Ricky” Porter is one of the best Lucio players in North America, having played the hero to great success during his stint with PNDA Gaming and in the ranked ladder, peaking at 35 in the top 500. Our own Noah Waltzer managed to get a moment of Ricky’s time to bring us an in-depth, two-part interview on all things Overwatch. Part 1 will focus on the ever-present (well, before those nerfs that the guys will surely touch on) Lucio, while Part 2 will take a more top-down view on the game of Overwatch as a whole. Let’s get right into it.
How/when did you start playing Overwatch? Did you play support initially?
I was first introduced by a roommate in one of the open beta weekends, and have been playing just over a year. At the time I was playing LoL, so I got hooked on the MOBA aspect of OW; the FPS aspect made it feel like my niche as well. The game was solid, well-made, [with] good mechanics. [I] had a lot of fun learning. There was only [quickplay] at the time, and basically my roommate said “there’s this character you’ll like called Lucio.” He was right. I occasionally fill, but Lucio was the answer.
What was your favorite meta as a player? As a viewer?
As a player, my favorite meta as a comp player (comp + scrims) was triple tank with Reinhardt (season 3/season 4). [This meta] provided the most opportunities for Lucio. Lucio was strong since he had environmental kill potential and the proverbial go button. During that time, my main tank player was a Rein player, so that worked out really well. As a viewer, (a couple months back) I watched a lot of Korean tournaments where they were running a standard dive. It showed a high level of skill and coordination (maybe just because I was studying it), but I loved learning the monkey (Winston)/D.Va comp.
Let’s dive into the support role. First and foremost, do you agree with Blizzard’s classification of Symmetra as a support? Why or why not?
The first thing I want to say is that the best time I had with Symmetra was when she was played as a support (Mercy/Sym, Ana/Sym). Three support (Sym + 2 supports) doesn’t work out from what I’ve seen. That being said, does she really embody what the other supports do? She doesn’t enable teammates, she’s more of a disruptor like other defensive hero. I think she should be played as a second support, but she doesn’t feel like one.
Throughout OW’s history, no hero has been as necessary as Lucio for a strong team composition, with the frogman hovering above a 90% pick rate in pro play (up until this most recent patch). As a Lucio main yourself, can you explain why Lucio is so important?
Lucio’s viability came a lot from the fact that he could be played so aggressively. I used and abused Lucio’s insane mobility a lot, positioning myself to either get environmental kills or disrupt the other team, and then get out for free with his mobility. His heals were nice, but, for example on Lijang Tower: Garden, when enemies are crossing the bridge, if you position by the column by Dojo, you could scroll wheel [binding your jump key to the mouse scroll wheel which gave Lucio additional speed coming off of walls] people from column to bridge and completely zone the enemy team. You’re always there, you’re always ready to react to a McCree flash or Roadhog hook or kill the other team if there are environmental kill opportunities. His damage was nice, but coupled with the mobility, you could get in the face of everyone (maybe not McCree) and you could make huge plays. His independence is what made him so strong, he didn’t “need” a team around him, but he could work well with the rest of his team. For example; if your flex is a Zenyatta and there’s an enemy Tracer, you can contest the Tracer and apply pressure, basically allow the Zen to keep focusing on what he’s doing. He was at least on par with a lot of DPS characters at close range, much more so than the other supports.
Lucio has a lot of mobility tech that people might not be aware of. Can you talk about some of the techniques you use to upgrade your Lucio play?
A lot of high-tier players that would be applicable in low ELO is being able to peel with your boop (right click). Booping Winston when he jumps in so you bounce him somewhere else is huge value for your ally. Other techs include Scroll-wheel jumping, which got nerfed but was really clutch. Using the speed boost off of walls is big. One last big thing is your management of enemy position. I think a really high skillcap aspect of Lucio is playing around the enemy position. For instance, you can boop a Roadhog after hook to prevent followup, displace Reinhardt Earthshatter, etc. It sounds really basic, but the skill cap is consistently recognizing the ideal time to displace other characters.
Scroll-wheel jumping recently got targeted by the Blizzard nerf hammer, but there has been some compensation offered in the form of more mobility on his standard wall jump. Do you think this does justice to removing scroll-wheel jumping?
I think he’ll still be in a bad spot. Nerf was big since he’s not fast enough to get away from anything. In most scenarios it's better off to pick other supports now since he lost what made him so unique in the past: the ability to play aggressively and in the other team’s face. I don’t know how useful it will be, but I hope he comes back in Control maps.
Who are some Lucio players you would highlight as the best in the world?
Dak, we play really similar styles so I appreciate him bringing that into pro play. Grego “Grego” McAllen hasn’t had many opportunities, but from what I’ve seen and his mechanics he’s probably up there. There’s times where he’ll take a Pharah out of the sky while wall riding in two clips; his accuracy is on another level. On the other side of the spectrum, in-game leading, I have huge respect for Alex “Ajax” Jackson. He has great calling and I respect him a lot. He is on top of that side of the game.
Apart from “don’t suck at positioning/hit your shots,” what advice would you give to low rated or new Lucio players?
Practice wall riding all the time. I practiced my rides a lot more than most people. When I’m in spawn, I’m riding for the first 60 seconds, now I don’t have to think about it. It’s become second nature to me, and if you can add that to your kit, you become so much harder to kill. Confidently wall riding is a huge leg up for Lucios. Especially in lower levels, wallriding isn't fully utilized, so practicing the wallrides is huge.