Dongjin “Scott” Seo
An unknown Mexican female hacker with alias “Sombra” hit the “Overwatch” live server on 16th of November with few cool tricks in her hand.
Sombra is known to be a talented orphan hacker raised from the “omnic crisis”, an outbreak of hostile artificially intelligent robots. With her hidden identity, she hacked various political groups and individuals from a young age for survival until she was exposed by another unknown hacker and was forced to hide. She then reappeared in the world by joining a terrorist group called “Talon” in order to find the people behind her exposure and to gain control over the world.
Sombra’s primary weapon is the “Machine pistol”. A short ranged, rapid firing, 60 rounds-in-a-magazine machine gun that deals 160 Damage Per Second (DPS) which gives her a mediocre damage potential – although it is low for an “assault” (main damage dealing) character. Her gun performs similarly to Tracer, with an exponentially increasing inaccuracy rate and short damage drop-off distance. Thus, she is forced to be in close quarters to bring any severe damage to her opponent.
However, her mediocre DPS is reinforced with her suiting passive “Opportunist” and shift ability “Thermoptic Camo”. Her passive, “Opportunist” gives Sombra the ability to locate any opponent with lower than 50 percent health point through any wall, which she can utilize to target prioritize. “Thermoptic Camo” can turn Sombra invisible for 6 seconds with no foot step noises and doubled movement speed. She can use this to flank the enemies and finish off any low health opponents in the backline. Also, her “E” skill, “Translocator”, gives Sombra the opportunity to disengage or teleport to any place where the translocator is thrown. With her skills specializing in flanking her opponents stealthily and disengaging quickly, Sombra’s role on the battlefield is simple and clear; to flank the opponents and finish-off any enemies with low health points. On the other hand, every Sombra player should prioritize survival rather than trading because low health opponents behind enemy lines are effectively out-of-combat, meaning they are not the main concern.
Sombra’s ultimate, the most powerful skill of a character, ”EMP” and right-click ability, “HACK”, brings a new kind of “Crowd Control” to the game: HACKED. Once hacked, by either getting hit by an EMP attack or simply being hacked by Sombra, the hacked character loses their ability to cast any spells or use any skills for 6 seconds. Furthermore, it can cancel any skills that require “cast time” or those that give a “barrier”. For example, with this ability, Sombra can easily counter Mccree’s ultimate, “Deadeye” and Lucio’s ultimate, “Sound Barrier”.
However, her right-click ability, “HACK”, can only target 1 person at a time with 1 second cast time and 12 seconds cool-down. It should also be noted that she can hack “Health Packs” for 1 minute, which disables the health packs to be usable by the opponent and every hacked health pack used by a teammate contributes to her score. Thus, it is beneficial for Sombra to hack every health pack, both on opponent’s side and friendly’s side, to quickly charge up her ultimate.
Blizzard, the developer of the game, aimed Sombra to be a supporting “assault” character. They did so by giving her a mediocre DPS to fight face-to-face but just good enough to finish off low health opponents. However, Blizzard did not make Sombra useless in teamfights. Her ultimate, “EMP”, gives Sombra the ability to pick and choose a teamfight. For example, as an attacking side, every Overwatch player should have faced a stalemate situation where their opponents hide behind Reinhardt’s shield with hundreds of healthpoint from Lucio’s sound barrier. However, Sombra can disable all of these crucial defense skills with her EMP’s wide range of effect to start an advantageous fight.
Although Sombra’s role is appealing to many sneaky players who wants to flank their enemy and cause trouble, it should be noted that picking Sombra without a team’s back-up or follow-up will be ineffective in the battlefield. She can be picked to counter heroes that are highly dependent on skills like Reinhardt, Roadhog, Lucio, Genji, and Tracer. But, she can be easily countered by heroes that excel in close-quarter combat or are less dependent on skill or spells such as Mei, Reaper, Junkrat, Winston, Symmetra, and Soldier 76.