Of Overwatch's iconic heroes, Mercy is probably the most recognizable. Though she may be celebrated by general Overwatch fandom, she presents some real problems for Overwatch esports. Simply put, it isn't fun watching a high-skill pickoff flushed down the toilet by her Resurrection ability. Many spectators already have a difficult time following the action and appreciating professional Overwatch. Throw her new Res into the equation, and you have people rightfully asking, "What's the point?"
Early and clutch kills are all put pointless
Remember when super early kills were full of hype? When people like Taimou propel themselves into the sky with Widowmaker and land that sick headshot, it created a six-on-five within seconds that had enormous snowball potential. These were the plays that got bookmarked, clipped, recorded, and spread around the internet within minutes. While still an impressive feat of skill, the direct and lasting impact of these kills has gone by the wayside thanks to Mercy's non-Ultimate Resurrection.
Even worse are kills that are the result of solid communication and teamwork in high-stress situations. When South Korea was playing the USA during the Overwatch World Cup, they got off to a bit of a rocky start by dropping the first map. USA held them off for quite a while on point A of Eichenwalde immediately after, but South Korea pushed through. Navigating the streets in a timely manner was crucial to their success. As the payload made that first right turn, USA tried holding from the high ground. Fl0w3r, South Korea's DPS machine, climbed the wall as Genji and made a remarkable play on Rawkus:
In such a pivotal engagement, taking every advantage you can in the health trade is the most important thing you should be focusing on. However, what Mercy's Res does is gives you at least an extra 250 health to deal with. In this scenario, Fl0w3r's kill was for absolutely nothing. Adam brought Rawkus back up, who then proceeded to use Transcendence to mitigate Dragonblade. Not only does South Korea still have to push across the bridge, but they have to deal with Rawkus as if nothing had happened. Again, I ask, "What's the point?"
Overwatch League and beyond
It may seem like these arguments against Mercy are overly dramatic, but you have to consider the implications of having a questionable experience when you're trying to launch one of the biggest esports leagues of all time. These teams paid $20 million to join, and their players are making at least $50 thousand each, if not much more. They have their own player housing, esports facilities, and support staff—as far as the players and organizations are concerned, everything is running as smoothly as can be expected before season one launches.
The esports product, however, is not following suit. Like MonteCristo has been so vocal about, Resurrection in any form has no place in esports. In order for Overwatch League to be a success, it needs fans to stick around. It needs fans to spend money on merchandise, attend live events, and watch matches online. In order to cultivate growth at that level, Mercy's Res simply has to go. Once fans become more knowledgeable about the game, they'll want to see player skill pay off, not evaporate. If people are already questioning whether or not Overwatch's game types are compelling enough to want to watch, the hero kit pool should not include a resurrection.
Let's revisit the play above for a second. Right before it happened live, the commentators were discussing how in a Mercy-centric meta, fights end if she dies. Having the life of your game hinge on whether or not one character falls is not where you want to be, and it does not make for a compelling viewing experience.
What is being done?
As devs and analysts have said so many times already, players need to be engaged with the battle. Her old Res was awful and promoted very lazy play right down to encouraging players to hide. While I'm unconvinced that the changes being proposed on the PTR will do much, giving her a movement nerf and a channeled Res should make Overwatch a more palatable esports experience once again. At the very least, she won't be able to bring people up immediately in chaotic fights.
The addition of Moira should also help put the pro meta back in line with how it used to be—with Mercy used in niche situations for Pharah and Bastion. Having another offensive-minded healer will make for a much more exciting viewing experience, at least on paper. It's also interesting to note the timeline of Moira and the Mercy nerf. Assuming the patch is released within the next couple of weeks, at the very least, that means Mercy should be dead in the water before the Overwatch League preseason starts on December 6. Whether or not any of the teams will be experimenting with Moira at that point is secondary to the fact that Resurrection won't factor into as many fights anymore.