In low-skill rating Competitive Play and especially in Quick Play, you can often see people running one Support or none at all. Sometimes, when one player sees that the team is struggling and switches to Lucio from Soldier: 76 to help out the Mercy deal with incoming damage, but the team loses anyway, the player who took Lucio is even blamed and flamed for the loss. This just shows that people always believes themselves to be better than they really are.
There’s a reason why teams run two Supports in pro matches. What is that reason? Simply put, if you have one Support and your enemies have two, their golden-hearted gods of selflessness will be able to keep their own DPS and Tanks alive for longer than your single Support, meaning that their team will win the fight and get the objective.
Another prevalent misconception is that Supports are heal bots. Yeah? Say that to me when Zenyatta rips you apart. Say that to me when you get Sleep Darted by Ana as soon as you start channeling Barrage as Pharah. Say that to me when Lucio pushes you off the map. Finally, say that to me when the most passive Support in the game, Mercy, finishes you off with her Caduceus Blaster and then boosts her Pharah’s damage, making her almost one shot your teammate. Healbots indeed.
Of course, I realise why this preconception exists. To put it simply, playing Support is boring in most games. It’s also occasionally harder to hard carry your team as a Support. Not in Overwatch, however. In this wonderful game, Support is actually fun. You can help killing people. While it’s true that you can’t rip apart your enemies as a Support, even in Overwatch, a very good one has more impact on the game than the best DPS. Without a good Support, even Taimou, one of the best McCree players in the world, would fall to concentrated enemy fire.
The current competitive meta of 2 DPS, 2 Tanks, and 2 Supports is very well balanced, because the most popular off-tank, Zarya, can take care of herself and teammates with her Barriers, Reinhardt is… Reinhardt. The two most popular Supports at the moment are Lucio and Zenyatta. While Zenyatta can heal a single target, Lucio takes care of AoE healing. McCree is a staple DPS, often combined with a flanker in Reaper, for example. Zenyatta can help Reaper to sustain, while Lucio sustains the rest of the team, which is huddled together. Can you see now how such a setup would destroy a single healer team? If you pick Mercy, four members of her team are fair pickings. If you get Lucio, everyone needs to bunch up, which makes flankers worse than they usually are and removes some options. If you get Zenyatta, same problem Mercy has. Ana could heal the team but her Biotic Grenade has a cooldown. She could heal single targets, but she needs to hit them first. She’s also not hard to pick off.
Do you see now? I certainly hope you do.